New partnership tackles anti-social behaviour at Monks Recreation Ground

Lancing parish council chair Gloria Eveleigh at Monks Recreation Ground
Lancing parish council chair Gloria Eveleigh at Monks Recreation Ground

Actions designed to tackle issues with anti-social young people at Monks Recreation Ground, Lancing, have been taken after a new joint partnership group met for the first time.

Residents’ concerns about the parish-owned grounds were the focus of the ‘Make Lancing Feel Safer’ meeting on Friday, October 7.

Parish council chairman Gloria Eveleigh said litter pickers from Keep Lancing Lovely told attendees that drug and alcohol paraphernalia had been found at the site, mostly in and around the district council-owned public toilets, and that many residents believed it to have come from groups of anti-social youths, according to the councillor. She said that while the meeting established that Monks Rec was ‘a well-used social and activity hub enjoyed by many families and residents’, there was a ‘perceived atmosphere of intimidation and danger.’

As a result of the discussions, a senior youth worker at Electric Storm Youth, Sarah Prust, plans to take the organisation’s mobile youth provision van on to the site every Monday evening to offer hot chocolate and toast to young people, with the aim of building positive relationships and discouraging anti-social behaviour.

Additionally, a dedicated PCSO has been allocated to work with the partnership as part of their efforts to increase safety, a move Eveleigh said was ‘exciting news’ for the area.

Gloria said she decided ‘something had to be done’ after being told by an elderly couple that Lancing village was a ‘no-go area’ for them in the evenings, due to groups of young people socialising noisily and recent gun crimes.

“It had a real impact on me,” she said. “I realised that this perceived fear of crime was common – especially among those who in some way felt vulnerable, and also parents who were concerned about their children being out at night.”

However, Lancing has one of the lowest crime rates in the area, she added.

The partnership group includes representatives from the parish, district and county council, police community support teams, Lancing United community football team and residents.

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