One person has been banned from Bognor Regis town centre after concerns were raised about aggressive street beggars and recent anti-social behaviour, according to Arun Police.
It comes after an action group was formed to address community and business concerns about the increasing number of rough sleepers and incidents of anti social behaviour in Bognor Regis town centre.
In a statement released by Bognor Regis BID, it was revealed that key representatives from Arun District Council, Bognor Regis Town Council, Sussex Police, the Bognor Regis Business Improvement District and West Sussex County Council will be meeting on Monday (March 18) to ‘formulate a collaborative action plan for implementation’. The BID said the meeting will not be open to the public.
In a post on social media, Arun Police wrote: "We are aware of your concerns about aggressive street beggars and recent anti-social behaviour in Bognor Regis town centre.
"One individual who was responsible for a number of these incidents, is receiving support from social services and has been banned from the town centre.
"A meeting between a number of agencies, including ourselves and Arun District Council, will be held this month to address these specific issues and to agree a plan of action.
"We would urge the public to continue to report any anti-social behaviour they witness in Bognor town centre by calling 101."
Sussex Police said the man was banned under an order issued by the force to individuals ‘as a result of persistent antisocial behaviour such as allegations of street drinking, drunkenness and abusive behaviour’.
A spokesman added: “The orders have been issued to affect behaviour of certain individuals, and to prohibit remaining in certain areas and engaging in antisocial behaviour.
“Robust enforcement by police is key, as is signposting the homeless community to other agencies for intervention and support.
“Where breaches occur, the orders could be escalated to Criminal Behaviour Orders.”
Bognor Regis BID said Georgina Bouette, community manager at Arun District Council, viewed the upcoming meeting as an 'opportunity for the various agencies to work collaboratively'.
She added: "[It will have] a clear focus on finding solutions to a complex situation that both supports the vulnerable and addresses the needs of the broader community."
Paul Wells, chairman of Bognor Regis BID, said businesses were 'suffering as a result of the deteriorating situation in the town centre', where both anti social and criminal behaviours and the appearance of the main shopping areas 'made the town centre feel unwelcoming'.
He welcomed the opportunity that the forum, described as ‘action focused, intelligence driven’ would provide.
Sheila Hodgson of Bognor Regis Town Council was also said to have welcomed the meeting as an ‘opportunity to collaborate in a joined up response to the concerns raised by community members and visitors to the town’.
The statement added the action group had confirmed that all agencies would continue with ongoing interventions, and no support or services would be delayed awaiting the meeting.