Calls for more policing in Littlehampton Town Centre as new benches already vandalised

Friday, July 29th, 2022 7:35pm

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors have called for more police presence in Littlehampton Town Centre as the revamped area has already suffered vandalism.

At an Economy Committee meeting on Tuesday (July 26) opposition leader James Walsh (LDem, Beach) raised concerns that new benches had already been vandalised and windows smashed.

The town centre is currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment.

“The graffiti that’s been appearing on the new street furniture is very worrying because some of us [councillors] commented on that before the designs had been chosen,” Dr Walsh said.

“The [concerns] are proving right, because that has been happening. My worry is that will get worse if it’s not dealt with on a daily basis because graffiti tends to attract more graffiti and other types of damage.”

Council officers said it was ‘a shame’ that graffiti had appeared on the brand new furniture but said it has now been cleaned off with the help of Littlehampton Town Council. They made a promise to deal with any future damage ‘promptly’.

Dr Walsh said the graffiti, and recently smashed shop windows, were evidence that more policing is needed in the area.

“I just wonder whether we have put any more pressure on the Police and Crime Commissioner – which I’ve done, but with little effect,” he said.
“[Katy Bourne] seems to have a deaf ear as far as Littlehampton’s concerned.

“If this type of vandalism isn’t stamped on by proper policing, it tends to worsen and tends to put people off coming to the town centre.”

Dr Walsh claimed that some parents ‘do not seem to know what their kids are up to in Littlehampton’ adding that there were ‘half a dozen who are giving the town a very bad name’.

Council leader Shaun Gunner (Con, Rustington East) said he had raised the issues with PCC Katy Bourne and chief inspector Nick Bowman, who is the district commander for Arun and Chichester.

“Katy Bourne is very well aware of the views of this council,” Mr Gunner said.

Katy Bourne and Sussex Police have been contacted for comment.

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