Police wage war on Hastings street drinkers

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POLICE have launched a clampdown on street drinking and loutish behaviour in town.

Officers have started the campaign, known as Operation Chiltern, as a result of complaints from residents fed up with drunken behaviour.

In the past year police have recorded 100 drink-related crimes in town, prompting them to resurrect a dispersal order.

The same order was used last summer.

It will run for three months and will cover the seafront from Grosvenor Gardens to Pelham Place.

The order also incorporates the beaches and pavements and also encompasses Warrior Square in St Leonards, and Cornwallis Gardens, Holmesdale Gardens, Wellington Square and St Leonards Gardens.

Within these areas police can order street drinkers and those behaving in an anti-social way to leave the area for a period of 24 hours.

If they return within that time they can be arrested and could face up to six months in prison or get fined.

The order applies seven days a week.

Operation Chiltern has run every year since 2005 and is a joint scheme run by Sussex Police and the borough council.

Sergeant Simon Harston, from the neighbourhood policing team, said: “We have received regular complaints from many members of the public regarding street drinking and related anti-social behaviour.

“As in previous years we want to address this problem by dispersing those that cause, or are known to cause a problem.

“I hope that this will encourage the public to feel safe in using the seafront areas of Hastings and St Leonards and be assured that additional police patrols will be present.

“We have worked closely with our partners at Hastings Borough Council who have endorsed the dispersal order, which has been authorised by Superintendent Stephen Barry.”