Plans to tackle street community problems

LG 110814  Street drinking, Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141108-093749001
LG 110814 Street drinking, Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141108-093749001

PLANS to deal with members of the street community causing serious antisocial behaviour issues could include measures from mentoring to a hostel for alcohol users.

The Joint Strategic Committee of Adur and Worthing councils discussed ways to tackle the growing problem on Tuesday.

The meeting came two weeks after traders and residents reported dealing with death threats and abuse from drunks roaming the streets.

Worthing Borough Council leader Dan Humphreys said: “This is definitely something that we need to grasp and do something about now and we’ve got some very good suggestions here in the report.

“It’s important for the community, businesses in the town and the wider community and not something we can let lie and we need to do something about it.”

A report before the committee discussed ongoing initiatives and plans going forward.

The councils have each applied for £10,000 funding to help achieve the ‘No Second Night Out’ initiative, which aims to prevent people who are new to rough sleeping having to sleep rough for more than one night.

Allowing the street community to run a monthly market stall has previously reduced antisocial behaviour and it is hoped this could be done on a monthly basis in future.

Reviewing the approach to enforcement, building on a mentoring scheme and night shelter projects were also proposed.

Executive member for customer services Heather Mercer said: “One of the things that concerns me is the fact that if you are a drinker there is nowhere for you to go because you’re not allowed into Worthing Churches Homeless Projects and often it’s the drinkers that create the problems.”

Director for communities John Mitchell, who is leading the council’s work on the issue, confirmed a wet hostel was a possibility.

The term ‘street community’ refers to between 15 and 40 individuals, which includes the homeless to those who have access to temporary accommodation. Many have alcohol or drug issues.