TIM DREW: Increasing police presence on the streets

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Police visibility, local intelligence gathering and the work of the council, Worthing Churches Homeless Projects and the Street Pastors were among the main items of discussion at the town central neighbourhood police meeting last Thursday.

Inspector Allan Lowe outlined the progress of Operation Minster, which focuses on increasing the visibility of the Neighbourhood Policing Team in patrolling local communities.

Most of the community centres in Worthing had been covered, and the team had also been active in Fishersgate, Southwick and Lancing.

Some 20 police and PCSOs had taken part, with positive feedback and valuable local intelligence received. Analysis of this enables them to identify areas where more patrolling is needed.

Roger Oakley noted that some residents in East Worthing were complaining to the council about drug dealing instead of to the police.

Allan Lowe responded that there were still issues with the number but that the police were encouraging informants to contact them by email or use the confidential Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.

The winter night shelter for the homeless had been closed but, given the recent freezing temperatures, Adur and Worthing Councils implemented the severe weather emergency provisions.

This meant that there was a warm bed and food available for anyone on the streets; the outreach workers had changed their hours and all who were sleeping rough were approached. A new 37-bed temporary accommodation hub on Lyndhurst Road opens on April 30.

Outreach headcount is set to reduce but the council has some government funding with which to help women with complex needs.

A new post, contextual safeguarding coordinator, had been created with the jobholder working with local vulnerable and young people.

The Street Pastors reported a shortage of members, and need another 11 to bring them up to full strength.

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