TIM DREW: Working together for town’s street community

editorial image

ON Octotber 2, members of the neighbourhood policing team, Worthing Borough Council and a number of partner agencies were present at the meeting of Worthing’s Central Ward Neighbourhood Panel.

Problems caused by the street community were the main topic.

The underlying message was that, although it was important that the police continue to enforce legislation against anti-social behaviour and that ‘hotspots’ have to be targeted, this cannot be regarded as a long-term solution, and the police need to work closely with specialist groups in changing behaviours – especially among those who have adopted rough sleeping as a way of life.

The key objective is to make members of the street community feel valued to the extent that they will the more readily move on to become part of the community as a whole.

Both the Worthing Churches and St Mungo’s homeless projects have

been working with the police as members of the Worthing and Adur

Rough Sleepers Team.

This is is a pilot project that has been running since May this year and aims to engage with rough sleepers by drawing on, and prioritising, the existing resources available.

Members of the street community tend to associate closely with one another and the team also faces the impact of impending budget cuts, so the already difficult task of changing behaviours is not expected to become any easier – but the fact that 78 per cent of those for whom the Worthing Churches Homeless Projects first finds accommodation go on to live independently shows that good results are already being achieved.

• The Goring Neighbourhood Panel meets on Monday, October 20, between 7pm and 8pm, at Worthing Leisure Centre, in Shaftesbury Avenue, Worthing. The Marine Neighbourhood Panel will meet at the same venue, between 7pm and 8pm on Wednesday, October 22, with the Heene Neighbourhood Panel meeting taking place that same evening in Room 5 at the Heene Community Centre, between 7pm 7.30pm.