Number of Crawley rough sleepers falls by half

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The number of people sleeping rough in Crawley has almost halved since November, says Crawley Borough Council.

The figure has dropped from 32 to 17.

A Crawley Borough Council spokesman said: “Crawley Borough Council has been working closely with local agencies for some time to ensure rough sleepers are aware of the support that can be offered in the town. Agencies include, Open House, St Mungo’s, Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council.

“In November last year there were 32 people known to be sleeping rough across the town and 18 of these were sleeping in the town centre. Thanks to a co-ordinated and targeted multi-agency response to encourage people off the streets, there were 17 people sleeping on the streets in March.

“There is a great deal of support available to people sleeping on the streets in Crawley and currently, thanks to the help of fantastic homelessness charities like Open House and St Mungo’s, there’s currently no need for anyone to sleep rough in Crawley. This support is frequently and consistently offered to Crawley’s rough sleepers and those who accept can access emergency hostel accommodation and tailored support to address health issues and work towards getting them back into settled accommodation and work.

“While the main aim of all agencies involved is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people sleeping on the streets, it is important to recognise that rough sleeping has an impact on the fear of crime and safety, particularly in town centres. In cases where individuals are unwilling to engage and have consistently been antisocial, then enforcement action has been taken.

“The council will continue to work together with agencies in Crawley and across the region.”

A bench has been placed in Three Bridges for street drinkers to use in a bid to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

The spokesman added: “The bench was installed by the council due to complaints about the street community being anti-social in the area close to the play park and pavilions. The decision to install the bench was taken by council officers, councillors, police and the Three Bridges Forum and has been successful so far.”

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