MP urges action after spate of vandalism in Lancing

The MP said that younger children are being bullied at the new skate park in Lancing
The MP said that younger children are being bullied at the new skate park in Lancing

MP Tim Loughton has raised concerns over a spate of vandalism at Lancing’s Beach Green.

At least ten beach huts were vandalised last month, he said.

The Perch cafe has also seen a number of its windows damaged, while customers had been intimidated by young people, said Mr Loughton, who visited the owners last week.

He said: “I am also particularly worried at reports from parents that younger children are now being bullied at the skateboard park and afraid to use this brand new facility.”

Mr Loughton is urging residents to work with him and police to make the area safe, and encourages anyone with information to email him directly.

He said he had accompanied police officers on patrol and said: “I am pleased that the police will be holding a street briefing on Sunday, on Beach Green, and I would urge concerned constituents to attend, as I will be doing.”

Mr Loughton also criticised the leadership of Lancing Parish Council, who he accused of trying to ‘cover up’ the extent of the vandalism and ‘sitting on their hands’.

He called on them ‘to acknowledge that we have a problem’ and, as the landlords of Lancing Beach Green, to ‘take responsibility to do something constructive about it’.

However chairman Gloria Eveleigh said Lancing Parish Council has been ‘extremely busy’ working with police to address antisocial behaviour.

She said a multi-agency group set up by the parish council, Keep Lancing Safe, had been advised by a police inspector to employ the ‘broken window effect’.

She said: “This effectively starves the perpetrators of the public attention they seek. We have been successfully following this advice since.”

Mrs Eveleigh said she informed officers at the monthly police-run Joint Action Group when the problems started at Beach Green and, as a result, the inspector had increased monitoring at the site.

Workers from Electric Storm Youth have also been engaging young people at the skate park.

Mrs Eveleigh said: “The police, not the parish council, are responsible for dealing with these issues within the powers and resources they have been given.

“Lancing Parish Council will continue to actively work with police and other agencies.”

The street briefing takes place between 1pm and 3pm on Sunday (November, 26).