OUT IN THE FIELD: Crossing chaos in Eastbourne town centre
The row over policing in Sussex rumbles on and we are now told the exact plan of what the council tax money will be spent on will be revealed next week. In the meantime, it’s great news that Eastbourne Police officers in particular are – with the support of other agencies like the council – cracking down on that bane of people’s lives: the anti-social element of the street community. You know the ones, the drug dealers, squawking drunks, professional beggars and the like whose anti-social behaviour makes it unpleasant for everyone else. I went out with two PCSOs and a police sergeant this week and saw first hand the problems in one area of the town: Jevington Gardens in Lower Meads where street drinkers and drug users are making residents’ lives a misery morning, noon and night. A group of people, some of whom as high as kites, didn’t like the fact their booze was confiscated because they had been drinking it in the street. But they were quickly got rid of thanks to a dispersal order which means offenders are banned from a certain area for a period of hours and if they return in that time, they can be arrested. It’s great to see partnership working in action and a timely reminder that it isn’t just down to the police or council to deal with the issue. It’s businesses locking their gates so groups can’t hang around there; shops being a little more choosy about who they sell alcohol to and finally the public who need to think twice before handing over any money to individuals sitting in doorways and give it to the relevant charities instead.