Meeting to tackle drink and drug problems in central St Leonards

ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour, drinking and drug taking were all high on the agenda during a meeting between the Police and Crime Commissioner and MP for Hastings.

Amber Rudd called and chaired the meeting which promoted a discussion between residents and businesses concerned by the high levels of anti-social drinking, drug-taking and behaviour in the borough.

Other agencies attending included chief inspector Paul Phelps, Cllr Jeremy Birch, Leader of Hastings Borough Council, accompanied by Cllr Trevor Webb, Cllr Jay Kramer and several senior officers from Hastings Borough Council.

There were also representatives of East Sussex Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service Crime Reduction Initiatives, Brighton Housing Trust, Seaview Project, Seven Streets Project, Boots the Chemist in St Leonards, and the Central St Leonards Town Team.

The plan is to arrange further meetings every three months with these agencies to try and ensure progress is made.

The meeting was held at the 7 Streets Project in Silchester Road, St Leonards on March 7.

Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Street drinking and other related anti-social behaviour can make people feel unsafe and also have a detrimental effect on local businesses that rely on visitors to the town.

“That is why it is vital that the police, local authorities and other agencies work together to tackle these issues and their root causes.

“I am pleased that a number of actions were identified at the meeting that can now be taken forward to address these issues.”

Action points agreed by the meeting included: a Seaview Action Project to start in two months

Options to be discussed for funding for a Police location in St Leonards – Katy Bourne and Amber Rudd

Work on more information about needles by Kirsten Adams, Implementation Manager, East Sussex Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service, Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI)

The CRI and Police to set regular community forums and to meet in advance of the next meeting.

The next meeting will be held in a venue large enough to accommodate anyone who may wish to attend, and the details will be published in advance.