Anti-social behaviour in Eastbourne – including street drinking and begging – are being targeted in a new clampdown by police and council officers.
Issues associated with the street community in particular are being looked as part of a multi-agency street community operations team, known as MASCOT.
The clampdown is focusing work around several hot-spot locations across the town where the presence and behaviour of the street community is impacting on local neighbourhoods.
Eastbourne Police Inspector Ed Ripley said, “The focus is around problem solving hot-spot locations, identifying ways to prevent and deter crime and make it difficult for street drinkers to gather to engage in anti-social and disorderly behaviour.
“The MASCOT has made recommendations around improvements to hot-spot locations between Banker’s Corner, Terminus Road and Eastbourne Pier to the Bandstand. Police and council Neighbourhood First officers have focused their patrols in those locations at key times to prevent and deter activity. Police are pursuing civil injunctions against the most persistent offenders of antisocial behaviour and disorder.
“It is extremely important our enforcement activity is balanced so the intention of the injunction is to curb an individual’s behaviour and facilitate support with a view to diverting them away from a particular lifestyle.
“Support for individuals is provided through the Eastbourne HUB, which brings many agencies together that provide support and medical services to the most vulnerable members of the street community, including the homeless and rough sleepers.
“MASCOT works closely with support agencies to ensure that enforcement and support is balanced. Housing may be sought, but this can be challenging as many people who are sleeping rough find it overwhelming and difficult to adapt to housing.”
“Therefore, the service offered through the HUB is vital and the agencies involved provide an outstanding service”.
Eastbourne council’s John Ungar said, “This is yet more evidence of the success of our joint working arrangements with Sussex Police and other support agencies.
“Many of the street drinkers and those involved in other examples of anti-social behaviour lead complex and chaotic lives.
“Long-term solutions to these problems are best achieved through our joined up approach and by putting these people in touch with the support services they need.”