Fresh calls for action on Eastbourne’s street drinking problem

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There have been fresh calls this week for a solution to the growing problem of street drinking in Eastbourne.

Community leaders have written to police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne calling for more officers to deal with what they call “the growing issue of aggressive street drinkers who appear to have taken up residence at key locations in the town centre”.

They say Eastbourne has become a “soft touch” for street drinkers which is why the numbers have grown and claim more like-minded individuals are coming into the town.

In a letter to the police boss, MP Stephen Lloyd, Eastbourne council leader David Tutt and Chamber of Commerce boss Christina Ewbank say they appreciate the problem is more than just a policing issue and that a multi-agency approach is in place, but are concerned police do not have the necessary resources to be fully effective and deal with the problem.

“We are asking Katy Bourne to provide the right level of provision to enable our Eastbourne police force to deal with the overtly aggressive street drinkers who are causing so much dismay in our town,” said the trio in the letter.

Mr Lloyd said it was time the problem was “nipped in the bud”.

“The longer we leave it the more likely the reputation of our wonderful town will suffer,” said the MP.

“This is not about people who find themselves down on their luck and living on the street for whom we have every sympathy but a small group of aggressive street drinkers who act in an anti-social way and whose intolerable actions intimidate others.”

Christina Ewbank said, “We must not let a very small number of anti-social individuals damage it for all of us – traders, visitors and residents alike.”

David Tutt said, “The police commissioner needs to place an increased emphasis on the serious challenge we are currently facing.”

The trio said they and their organisations would do everything possible to support local police officers in their work in tackling the problem.

The Herald has contacted both Katy Bourne’s office and Eastbourne Police for a comment.