Anyone else had enough?
On Saturday 5th March 2016, I shopped in Littlehampton town centre as I regularly do.
However my visit was marred by the ongoing drunken arguments and abuse by Littlehampton’s town centre resident drunks.
If you visit the town, you’ll be familiar with them.
They cluster in areas, drinking, swearing, spitting and fighting.
Their behaviour isn’t just unacceptable, it’s criminal.
Yet, despite the very obvious ongoing public order offences committed by these people, Sussex police seem reluctant to do anything about them.
For example, I attended a meeting last year where the problem was discussed by the authorities including Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner. One of the solutions was to involve the homeless charity ‘Stone Pillow’.
Actions such as arresting and prosecuting offenders didn’t seem to feature on the agenda.
It was all about ‘working with these people to achieve positive outcomes’, we were told.
I wonder if I’d stood up at the meeting and directed at Ms Bourne and her colleagues some of the verbal abuse that many of us have been subjected to in the town centre, would she been so keen on working with me to achieve positive outcomes?
Wonder how she’d cope with being called a ‘ f….ing fat, ugly bitch, as one of my partially-sighted relatives was called recently when she accidentally strayed into the path of one of our town centre’s female drunks?
Needless to say, my relative now shops elsewhere.
As for the view that these people are somehow homeless.
These people all live in well-appointed accommodation in and around Littlehampton, paid for by the local tax payer. One things for sure,when they’re not causing bother in the town centre, they’re making a great success of it where they live.
Of course their well-heeled landlords, most of whom don’t live in Littlehampton, are far enough away to be not bothered by their tenants anti-social behaviour.
Ask yourself, why is it these drunks aren’t plaguing Rustington town centre, or Arundel town centre?
It’s because Littlehampton is where they’ve been housed.
Littlehampton has long being the favourite dumping ground for Arun’s social problems.
And as long as the out-of-town decision-making Councillors continue to grant planning permissions to Littlehampton landlords to turn family-sized homes into bedsits, this problem will continue.
Across the road from my home, I once witnessed a woman being dragged by her hair by a drunken man who then forced his way into the property where she lived (a HMO) by shoving his fist through the glass.
At the time this particular HMO was home to a number of serious undesirables.
It was late at night. My partner and I phoned the police, who to their credit arrived within minutes, arrested the offender, while the woman was taken to hospital.
We gave a statement at the time only for the perpetrator to be released the following morning without being charged. The police didn’t think of telling us and the first we knew was when the man began stalking us outside our front window. This went on for a number of months with no police intervention and harassment included late-night drunks urinating in our doorway, our car vandalised, beer bottles thrown against our wall along with some pretty vile verbal abuse being directed at us.
It ended when he and his friends left.
The offenders were in control all the time. Just as they are now in Littlehampton town centre.
These people don’t just cause problems in town centres; they blight lives and communities.
Arun District Council have finally announced a solution to the problem.
An alcohol ban for the town centre.
But didn’t they previously introduce an alcohol restriction zone, which has been mostly unenforceable owing to lack of resources?
I imagine it will be as successful as their folly in employing dog poo enforcement officers who managed to go a whole term without issuing any penalties.
Yet, Arun District Council hailed it a huge success.
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