I AM writing in regard to your front-page story Booze Ban.
Unfortunately just banning strong alcohol doesn’t go far enough in tackling the bigger problem. Recently I was in St Leonards and surprised at the amount of street people that gather there now. I also saw two people injecting drugs on the beach, having lived here for 11 years. I was quite sad and shocked.
The amount of drinkers/addicts has slowly been increasing in the town over the past year or so and also a lot of these people are not from Hastings.
The amount of dealers that are openly dealing hard drugs is rising due to lack of an active police presence. The local drug/alcohol services are doing their best but are limited by funding and woefully inadequate to cope with this increase - there isn’t even one residential rehabilitation unit in the area.
For the town to positively deal with the problem, I don’t understand why Hastings Borough Council doesn’t encourage a couple of rehabs to locate here to assist with these issues.
If drug addicts/street drinkers are going to come to our town because of the lax policing, open dealing, cheap booze and so on, at least have the facilities to deal with them.
They are not going to stop drinking/drug taking because the local shop doesn’t sell super strength booze - the nature of addiction has no boundaries.
Many of these people don’t want to be in the situation they are in, but have no hope of accessing decent services and support to rebuild their lives.
I was in Bournemouth recently and was surprised to find out it has more than 80 rehabilitation centres where addicts/alcoholics are sent to recover, paid by other councils/NHS funding nationwide. This creates revenue for Bournemouth council and creates local jobs.
I’m certainly not suggesting that Hastings should become the rehabilitation capital of the UK but surely by having just one or two residential centres here it would benefit the town by assisting those who want recovery, get the problem off the street as well as creating local jobs and revenue for the town.