Attempting to stop anti-social ‘blight’

C131065-1 Bog Street  phot kate''PCSO Katie Harsley and PCSO Martin Ferris chatting to Sanita Buta and Robert Buts, two.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131065-1
C131065-1 Bog Street phot kate''PCSO Katie Harsley and PCSO Martin Ferris chatting to Sanita Buta and Robert Buts, two.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131065-1

TOUGH action to combat bad behaviour in Bognor Regis town centre is being taken.

In response to a number of complaints of anti-social behaviour in the town the Arun district neighbourhood policing and crime and operation teams have taken action.

Town centre PCSOs Katie Harsley and Martin Ferris were stationed in the town centre on July 31 as part of a police street briefing event.

The pair were outside the town’s Iceland store speaking to residents about their worries.

PCSO Ferris said: “We are here in response to the concerns raised by residents about anti-social behaviour in the town centre streets.

“A lot of people are unsure of what anti-social behaviour actually is, there are misconceptions that it is just about young people, but that is not the case.

“We have a lot of reports about cars revving late at night and mopeds speeding up and down the High Street, that is anti-social behaviour and those are the things we want to know about.”

Other types of behaviour reported by residents in recent weeks have included vandalism, graffiti, nuisance neighbours, street drinking and minor drug related crimes.

West Street resident Gloria Clifford said: “It is the sort of mindless bad behaviour which is fast becoming a blight on life in this lovely town.

“I have a lovely garden and in the last few weeks I have had countless flowers torn up and I get fed up of seeing people drunk on the streets. To many this may seem trivial, but it is not if you have to live with it,” added the 73-year-old

Linden Road resident Tim Grant said after speaking to officers he would be more willing to report crimes.

“Now I have had it explained to me what anti-social behaviour is I feel much more able to report it as I won’t feel I am making a fuss about nothing,” he said.

The event, which was the first of its kind in the town, ran from 11.30am until 12.30pm, and saw streams of residents voiced their concerns.

PCSO Harsley said: “This is the first time we have held this type of street briefing in Bognor and we are hoping it proves to be a success.

“Like everything we do it is about getting people to come and talk to us. It is about being high visibility.

“When we are out on patrol in the town, people do come and talk to us and tell us about any problems, but there is not always the time to go into the detail we would like to. This is why having the two of us at a fixed point for a dedicated hour is such a good idea. We are in a prime location for people coming in and out of the town to do their shopping as well.

“It has worked really well and I hope we will be able to hold further sessions.”

Anyone who experiences anti-social behaviour should report it to Sussex Police on 101.