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Crackdown on begging and street drinking in King’s Lynn

PUBLISHED: 14:42 26 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:42 26 September 2017

Police patrolling King's Lynn bus station, one of the areas covered by the orders. Picture: Chris Bishop

Police patrolling King's Lynn bus station, one of the areas covered by the orders. Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

Police will be carrying out extra patrols in King’s Lynn town centre over the coming weeks to address concerns from the public about anti-social behaviour.

It comes after a number of complaints received over the last month concerning incidents of anti-social behaviour involving aggressive begging and street drinking.

The initial phase will consist of working with West Norfolk council and the Purfleet Trust, to identify those who need support.

Adrian Lawrence, the council’s cabinet member for housing and community, said: “By working jointly with the police, we will be able to identify those who are in need and point them in the right direction for help and assistance.

“By getting people to engage with homeless charities, we hope to be able to break the cycle of homelessness and help them get their lives back on track.”

Sgt Tom Metcalfe, from Lynn police, said: “This operation is not about targeting all homeless people but focuses on those causing anti-social behaviour.

“Anyone found to be posing as homeless and exploiting the generosity of the public will be warned about their behaviour before facing prosecution.

“Alcohol related ASB and street drinking remains a focus for policing in the town. We’ve had several reports of groups gathering in the centre, drinking and being aggressive towards members of the public and this operation hopes to tackle that.

“Once this initial phase is complete we will increase our response to tackle those who persistently offend and take appropriate action. This may include prosecution, criminal behaviour orders and offering support through our partners.

“Rest assured, we are committed to dealing with anti-social behaviour in the town centre and understand there are wider and complex issues for some of the people involved in these incidents and will be taking that into account.”

Earlier this year, police targeted Lynn’s refurbished bus station after a spike in complaints about drink-related disorder.

Officers have been using powers which enable them to confiscate alcohol from anyone drinking anti-socially. Around 50 warnings were issued.

A public consultation is under way into extending the protection order which currently gives police the power to seize to a wider area of the town.

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