A South coast pet shop owner says he felt ‘abandoned’ by the police after what he described as a rise in street drinking and anti-social behaviour.
Mike Ricard-Worth, owner of Littlehampton Exotics, in the High Street of the West Sussex town, told the Bognor Regis Observer: “We feel a bit abandoned as a town.
“We have seen a lack of police, obviously just because there isn’t enough of them, but ultimately when we call nobody comes.”
He said the criteria for police to be called out was for a certain number of items to be stolen in one incident, which they were ‘struggling with’, and felt there were not enough business wardens – people with limited police powers – in the town centre, particularly to combat the ‘terrible, terrible problem with street drinking’.
Chief Inspector for Arun Jon Carter told the Observer: “As the new District Commander I am aware of concerns being raised by members of the public around anti-social behaviour connected to the consumption of alcohol. In response to this we will be conducting targeted patrols within Littlehampton and ensure the full range of policing powers available to us are used.
“We are working with partnership agencies to tackle this anti-social behaviour and we all need to work together to robustly tackle this behaviour, in particular around the responsible sale of alcohol.
“I would strongly urge members of the public to report matters of anti-social behaviour to us via 101 or online to help inform those targeted patrols.”