Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Police patrol operation to clean up the streets
ON THE BEAT: Officers patrol the streets in a bid to combat anti-social behaviour on the run-up to Christmas.
A CRACKDOWN on street drinkers and aggressive beggars has been launched by police in Worcester.
Officers will patrol city centre streets most mornings for the next four weeks in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour ahead of the Christmas shopping period.
It is also hoped the scheme, named Operation Spartacus, will improve the city’s image to tourists, shoppers and revellers.
Officers launched the operation after city residents and traders raised concerns, including many in the Lowesmoor Wharf area, where some staff have had to put up with people drinking, taking drugs and even having sex close to their place of work.
“I’ve had my car vandalised four times and my office door kicked in,” said Richard Warren Greenway of Greenway Landscape Arc-hitects, whose studio overlooks the canalside on Lowesmoor Wharf.
“People urinate and defecate underneath the stairwell outside. There was even one couple having sex.
“You don’t expect that when you come to work.
“You feel intimidated, esp-ecially when working late at night. You don’t know what you are walking into when you leave.
“I’m Worcester born and bred but I’m giving it some thought as to whether I want to extend my contract here next year.”
The new patrols will take place each morning, except Sundays, for the next four weeks.
Your Worcester News was invited to join officers pat-rolling the streets during yesterday’s launch.
While out, police constable Alex Denny was forced to remind one man not to enter the city centre, otherwise he’d breach bail conditions received in court for begging .
“There have been issues in Worcester relating to things like a street-drinking culture,” said Inspector Jane Francis, from West Mercia Police.
“We’ve had a number of reports about it.
“This doesn’t mean Worcester is not a safe place to come to. It’s a thriving place and we’re talking about a very small minority.
“So we’re trying to reduce this and other anti-social behaviour ahead of the Victorian Fayre and Christ-mas retail period where we will see an increase in footfall in the area.”
Insp Francis said officers will help “signpost” those caught to agencies within the city who can help them, such as hostels and charities.
“There is good homeless provision in the area, for instance,” she said.
“We want to assist them to turn their life around.”
She said those who don’t comply face action which could include being brought before the courts.
Comments are closed on this article.