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News Archive > General > Newquay police urged to move on homeless

Newquay police urged to move on homeless

By Warren Wilkins 17th January 2018

Newquay police urged to move on homeless
A homeless person´s belongings in a shop doorway.

POLICE have been urged to move on homeless people sleeping and begging in Newquay town centre following concerns shoppers are being intimidated.

Cllr Zoe Dixon appealed to Inspector Dave Meredith to take action after residents stated their presence is an “eyesore” and is undermining Newquay’s image as a tourist town. Residents are particularly concerned about two men who are sleeping on mattresses in doorways in Bank Street.

Insp Dave Meredith stated there are no powers in place that the police could implement to rid the area of homeless people and that a multi-agency approach was needed to tackle the problem.

A Homeless and Vulnerable Person Hub is due to be set up in Newquay before next winter so the homeless can visit to organise accommodation and get advice about alcohol, drug and mental health issues, which is being spearheaded by Newquay Town Council, Cornwall Council, the police, St Petroc’s Society, churches within the town and voluntary organisations such as Disc, Little Sparrows, Soul Food and soup kitchens.

Cllr Dixon, who is helping to launch the homeless hub, highlighted the issue at Newquay Town Council’s monthly meeting last Wednesday after concerns were raised at Treloggan Residents’ Association.

Cllr Dixon said: “There have been concerns raised about the appearance of the town, particularly in Bank Street, with a number of homeless sleeping on mattresses in shopfronts and doorways.

“The residents’ association asked the town and Cornwall councillors to raise the matter and ask if there were any restrictions that could be brought in to stop the rough sleepers in this particular key area, similar to the Alcohol Free Zones used to stop drinkers in the town centre and ASBOs.

“The residents feel that the presence of homeless sleeping rough in the main town centre is intimidating and not the appropriate look for a tourist town. It is felt by the residents that they are using this area due to its location to bars and pubs where they would benefit from begging.  

“Whilst they understand all the humanitarian efforts are being progressed with regard to the homeless hub and partnership approach, residents feel the police should utilise powers to move prolific offenders, beggars and drug abusers to other areas of Newquay where they would not be so visible and would not be so attracted to getting money from passersby.”

Insp Meredith stated the police are doing what they can to help the homeless in Newquay but emphasised the issue was not their “sole responsibility.”

Insp Meredith said: “I appreciate people have got concerns but the police cannot simply move them on. Many homeless people have complex problems and it is not as easy as simply moving them out of the town centre. We are trying to work with them. Sometimes it is successful and sometimes it is not.

“It is not in the police’s remit to solve the town’s homeless problem. It is a partnership issue. It is just as much the council’s job as it is the police’s job, along the owners of the properties and social services.

“I’m aware they are sleeping in doorways but it is not part of the public highway.
“Newquay has had a homeless issue of varying degrees. More so in the summer than in the winter. We have not turned our back on the issue.

“Our Neighbourhood team has been dealing with it in a responsible manner. We are working hard to deal with it but it is a very challenging issue. We are doing our best but it is not the police’s sole responsibility.”

By Warren Wilkins 17th January 2018

Steve Thomas 20th January 2018 20:52
People should ask the police why they resisted the opening of a night shelter in the town? Go on ... ask the man himself, and the councillor named in this article. I bet you don´t get a straight answer.
Terry King 24th January 2018 18:58
Cllr Zoe Dixon is a disgrace, like many of those in power especially here they are doing nothing to tackle the homeless. It is about time that we had some councilors that cared about society and other people. This is a serious issue not just in Newquay but in the whole country.
John Anstee 7th February 2018 12:46
homelessness is a UK wide problem, I am Newquay born and bred, but now live in Bournemouth and we have the same issues here this should be looked at not by local politicians but the Government as it is a national problem. The issue is in some cases if people are begging are they genuine or see it as a easier option than working
Dave Maullin 14th February 2018 02:22
The homeless guys i´ve chatted to in town are very respectful, everybody hits on hard times at some point. So why is this bought up at a residents association meeting? Removing them from the streets for the benefits of tourism is frankly inhuman. What have we become as a society when this seems to be the go to solution, like for the Royal Wedding in Windsor. This Government (i use the term lightly) has caused the majority of problems they should also be the answer to them, however I sha´nt hold my breath for fear of turning blue
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