Drop-in centre for Worthing’s street community

Helping the street community will be the focus of a drop-in centre in Worthing tomorrow (Tuesday).

Police officers, who work in the town, will join representatives from other agencies to help the street community and speak to members of the public about the issue.

Adur and Worthing Safer Community Partnership, Worthing Churches, My Key and Addaction will be at Montague Street gardens between midday and 1.30pm to offer advice.

PC Marv Lucas has been working on the dedicated team for the police to deal with the issue of street drinkers in Worthing since 2009.

He said: “It’s not just police who try to work with this community in Worthing, it’s lots of different organisations because you can’t touch this issue on your own. It’s all about trying to work with the street drinkers and trying to get them in touch with the right services and to form a way forward using the right agencies.”

These meetings have been held before but this is the first time one will be held in Montague Street, which is where many members of the street community are known to sit.

PC Lucas said: “What works for one person who is in this situation is not going to be right for someone else so it’s always about talking to them and finding out what they need.

“Most members of the public are very understanding that we are trying to help these people but I’m not sure everyone knows how many people work together to try and tackle it. Some people think we should arrest them and lock them away but when you stop and talk to them you realise they are people who have had lives and they are out there because something has happened in their life.

“There are times when we do have to arrest them to make them realise what they have done is unacceptable and it’s our job to do that. In the end it’s their choice but if we can work with them and provide them with all the right contacts, there might be a difference made to their lives.”