Crackdown on drinkers and beggars

A RISE in the number of complaints about street drinking and begging has prompted police to launch a crackdown.

Operation Stellar will involve officers targeting hot spot areas across Hastings and St Leonards.

Feedback received from the local community has highlighted that beggars and street drinkers can be intimidating sometimes leading to people avoiding an area. Officers are also making referrals to services offered under Crime Reduction Initiatives, Action for Change a charity which advises on living healthier lifestyles and the Seaview Project to tackle other issues such as homelessness or drug and alcohol related dependency.

Chief inspector Paul Phelps, Hastings District Commander, said: “Operation Stellar is our response to reduce crime and anti social behaviour associated with the street community of Hastings and St Leonards.

“We have recognised the vulnerability of these people and will work with our partner agencies to provide support and long term solutions.

“For us to successfully deal with those commiting offences we need witness statements from the public who are affected. Without this vital evidence we are unable to progress the case.”