Outreach service for street drinkers

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Outreach service for street drinkers

A pilot project aimed at tackling street drinking has been launched.

The Safer Crawley Partnership has commissioned Addaction to provide an outreach service for adult street drinkers.

(l-r) Anita McGrath, Anti-social Behaviour Co-ordinator, PC Clare Anstey, Cllr Nigel Boxall, Belinda Gracia, Outreach Worker, PCSO Matt Savill.

The service will encourage and enable street drinkers to access services to minimise the harm caused to themselves and the wider community through their alcohol misuse.

Two outreach workers with extensive knowledge and experience in tackling alcohol harm and substance misuse will provide the service for the year-long pilot.

Street drinking impacts in ways that other alcohol-related anti-social behaviour does not. For example, it is much more likely to happen in the daytime in public areas.

In Crawley, street drinking is an issue in the town centre and neighbourhoods including Broadfield, Langley Green and Three Bridges. It will often take place in shopping areas, parks and playing fields so has an impact on residents, visitors and businesses.

Up until now there has been a reliance on the use of enforcement powers to deal with the problem, including moving drinkers on and confiscating their alcohol.

It is hoped this new approach will help tackle the underlying cause of the problem. However, where enforcement powers are still needed, they will be used.

Partners in the outreach service include Addaction, Crawley Borough Council, Crawley and Gatwick Business Watch, Crawley Open House, NHS West Sussex and Sussex Police.

Councillor Nigel Boxall, Cabinet member for Community Engagement, said: “This is a great new project that for the first time allows us to deal with the problem in a different way.

“Street drinkers can make residents and visitors feel uncomfortable. However, these people often need help and I hope this pilot can provide that.”

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