Call for alcohol crackdown

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Residents have called for tougher action to stop street drinkers causing a ‘blight’ on their neighbourhood.

Members of the Three Bridges Forum want Crawley Borough Council (CBC) and Sussex Police to stop shops selling super strength alcohol in an aim to control the number of drunk homeless people on the streets .

Lillian Kirbycomber, chair of the forum, said gangs of street drinkers could cause residents to fear for their safety.

She said: “Their dogs run loose, they defecate everywhere, leave their cans everywhere. It’s just not fair. The poor people that live in Three Bridges Road have all the noise at night. It’s a real blight on Three Bridges.

“I take my grand children out and you have to be so careful.”

Members of the forum have been out litter picking but Lillian said it was a ‘horrible’ job as some ‘nasty’ things, such as excrement, were left inside cans.

Lillian said the problem was particularly bad in the neighbourhood because there were 21 outlets selling alcohol.

She also said groups of homeless people congregate in camp sites around the neighbourhood.

Dave Hathaway, a resident of Mitchelles Road and member of the forum, said tough action was needed.

He said: “Effectively advertise the sanctions applied.

“Those who may be inclined to act badly will rethink blatantly flaunting the standards good Crawley citizens work hard to foster.

“Crawley could then cease to be a town many have been ashamed to say they live in.”

Suffolk Police pioneered a Reducing the Strength campaign in Ipswitch last year. The scheme offered incentives to shops to agreed not to sell high strength alcohol.

Since then the amount of drink related anti-social behaviour in the area has fallen.

CBC is working with Crawley and Gatwick Business Watch to create a similar scheme. A council spokesperson said: “Other towns such as Hastings are offering to amend licences at zero cost in mutual agreement for those taking part. It is highly possible Crawley Borough Council will consider the same idea.”