Beach bums are ruining seafront

FOLLOWING up on Hannah Collisson’s article in the Observer on April 5 about street drinkers in St Leonards, I would like to add my voice to the ever-growing list of my concerned neighbours who are bemoaning the effect that this anti-social behaviour has on our every day lives.

Having moved to St Leonards from London almost nine years ago, my wife and I have spent a considerable amount of time discussing this problem with police with no obvious results.

On a daily basis we have to put up with these people staggering up and down the London Road, urinating in our car park, congregating in an unused doorway opposite the rear of our flat (there were seven squashed in there at the last count) and of course their cans are left behind for someone else to clear up.

When the fine weather eventually arrives, the problem only increases as the drinkers congregate on the beach (one summer evening they even took our gate off its hinges to build a fire). As a family we can’t even sit on the beach opposite our flat as they urinate frequently in public and the stench, behaviour and language is disturbing, especially when we have children with us.

More recently some of the drinkers have started begging outside Londis, so we can’t even pop out for a pint of milk without being accosted.

Inspector Gareth Evans, of Hastings neighbourhood policing team, is asking for a clearer picture. Just how much clearer does this have to be after all these years?

How much more ‘looking into’ do they need to be able to help people with alcoholism? We would be very interested to know what steps have been taken, if any.

Of course the drinkers don’t think they need help. Why would they, when every day is a party - getting together with their pals, going to the bookies, filling their boots with cheap booze and having a jolly good time at the country’s expense.

FRANCISCUS HARENDS

Grand Parade

St Leonards