Police have insisted Worthing is a safe place to live and visit following a town centre stabbing on Monday (February 18).
The community reacted in horror to the news that a 20-year-old man was stabbed twice in the back in West Street on Monday night.
Read about the incident here: Man stabbed twice in Worthing town centre attack
Many comments on the Herald's Facebook pages suggested it was a sign of Worthing's decline and an example of the country as a whole falling into disrepair.
Commenting on the Worthing Herald page, Trudy Waldron said: "20 years ago when I moved here, Worthing was so lovely, calm, polite and had a community feel, but now it's the complete opposite. I hate going into town and avoid it as much as possible. Such a shame."
Jan Ward went a step further and said the incident was indicative of wider, national problems that had forced her to emigrate. She said she never wanted to return to her homeland, adding people abroad were much nicer to live among.
A concern for Worthing business-holders may be that fears over safety force people to think twice before visiting the town.
Jasmine Blundell commented on the Shoreham Herald's Facebook page. "Ok, maybe a trip to Worthing is not going to happen with my three kids," she said. "What's wrong with people? Get a life and stop it."
Several comments challenged the effectiveness of policing in the town, but Sussex Police have moved to quell any fears.
Adur and Worthing Prevention Inspector, Allan Lowe, said it was vital that the police force and the community work together to combat would-be criminals.
"Violent crimes are obviously distressing but I can assure local people that we are doing all we can, taking targeted action to help keep them safe," he said.
“Criminality that puts people's lives at risk is never acceptable and it's vital that the community pulls together to help us deal with those responsible.
“I understand that residents will be concerned but I want to reassure everyone that their safety is our priority.
"We are continuing with proactive patrols, carrying out warrants and stop and search. The aim is for these people to realise that we are here, we are tackling this issue and people involved in this criminality will be dealt with accordingly.
"Let's work together to make the area a safe place. No one knows their neighbourhoods better than residents themselves, so please get in touch if something seems suspicious or out of place."
Tony Bellasis, commenting on the Worthing Herald page, summarised the issue succinctly with a rallying cry to the community.
He said: "Our police need the support of everyone for all our benefit. Britain is broken but it will not get fixed on its own or just by the efforts of the police. We all need to help."
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