‘We’re here to help but will not tolerate dishonest rough sleepers’ say Havering Council
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 September 2017
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Havering Council plans to crack down on street drinking in Romford town centre in order to fight ‘organised criminal behaviour disguised as rough sleeping’.
After a large rise in rough sleepers throughout the borough in the past year, the council has taken a number of measures to fight tackle the problem, including teaming up with charities for action days and helping rehome as many as possible.
Now, the council is planning to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in Romford town centre to crack down on street drinking.
The Council is also working with local off-licences to increase the awareness of selling alcohol to known rough sleepers.
This order, which is subject to a public consultation, will replace the current Designated Drinking Area in Romford which prohibits anyone drinking alcohol within the ring road in Romford.
The current order ends in October, so a new order is now necessary.
A Havering Council spokeswoman added: “Whilst there has been an increased in rough sleeping, it is important to highlight that not all are willing to accept help from the Council and some individuals carry out anti-social behaviour, including organised begging and street drinking throughout Romford town centre.
“To tackle this, over the last 12 months Havering Council has been working with the Police and have issued three Community Behaviour Orders and 13 Community Protection Notices to such rough sleepers which has led to a reduction in numbers.”
Councillor Roger Ramsey, council leader, said: “So far, we have helped rough sleepers who need assistance with being re-housed but have also cracked down on dishonest and criminal rough sleepers. We will continue to tackle the issue of rough sleeping in our borough until the numbers decrease.
“We’re here to help, but will not tolerate organised criminal behaviour disguised as rough sleeping.”
The consultation can be completed online at www.havering.gov.uk/consultations, via post to Community Safety Team, Havering Council, The Flat, Town Hall, Main Road, Romford, RM1 3BB or by calling 01708 726 060.
If you come across a rough sleeper contact Thames Reach’s outreach service on 0300 500 0914 or go online at www.streetlink.org.uk/tell-us-about-a-rough-sleeper.
The consultation will run until October 5.