Officers tackling poor behaviour in the city centre
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Police have stepped up their action to reduce drug misuse, antisocial behaviour and aggressive begging in Leicester City Centre.
Over August and September officers regularly targeted areas throughout the city centre including the Clock Tower and Leicester Market in a bid to prevent poor behaviour from beggars, street drinkers and rough sleepers.
The action follows feedback from local businesses and residents about drug paraphernalia and litter, as well as distress caused by aggressive begging and public drunkenness.
Throughout the two months, officers from the city centre neighbourhood team conducted a number of stop/searches where appropriate and made effective use of a Public Space Protection Order that enables the confiscation of alcohol. In all this was used 176 times.
In addition, they also dispersed 36 individuals from the city centre using powers contained within the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Those found to be in need of support and emergency accommodation were put in touch with the city council’s rough sleeping team, while those with addiction problems were signposted to services which could help them.
Inspector Adam Archer, Central Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Area Commander, said: “This action was a direct result of feedback from local businesses about issues around those living and drinking on the streets.
“While we have a duty to deal with antisocial behaviour and illegal drug use, we know that many of those we speak to on the streets are vulnerable and in need of appropriate support. We have ensured that this has been given and encouraged individuals to accept or get help from one of the many organisations we have within Leicester such as Turning Point Leicester and the Dawn Centre.”
Inspector Archer added: “I encourage residents and business owners along with those visiting the city to report concerns about anti-social behaviour to officers or by calling 101.
“We continue to work hard with our partners to ensure the city centre remains a pleasant and safe place to live, work and visit.”
Daxa Pancholi, head of community safety and protection at Leicester City Council, said: “Leicester has a good range of services provided by the city council and partners to help people with street lifestyles try to make changes to their lives.
“Some people take up this help and get off the streets, but others refuse all support offered. If enforcement action needs to be taken people can be assured it really is as a last resort.”