New action planned to deal with rowdy youths creating havoc in Southwater

New action plans are being drawn up to deal with rowdy youths who have been creating havoc in Southwater.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 10:26 am

A public meeting was due to be held in the village on Thursday following rising concerns from residents, but has now been postponed.

Meanwhile, a senior Sussex police officer has spoken out about the problems which escalated last week when a woman was ambushed in her minibus and had bricks thrown at her vehicle.

The village has been plagued with a string of other incidents including a stabbing, a swan being shot dead at Southwater Country Park, cars damaged and residents being harangued at local shops.

Sussex Police

Residents have called for tougher police action to deal with the problems.

But Inspector Ben Starns of the Adur, Worthing and Horsham Neighbourhood Policing Team, said this week: “We are aware of further anti-social behaviour and crime in Southwater over last weekend, and we understand the community’s concerns around this.

“We are committed to working with partners across the district to tackle this issue, and we are taking steps to prevent further offences and provide reassurance to the community.

“This includes officers continuing to carry out high-visibility patrols in the area and working closely with wardens and the parish council, among other agencies.

“We will also continue to take enforcement action where necessary - we have already issued a Community Protection Warning to one individual involved in anti-social behaviour and we have identified some of those involved in the disorder from the weekend.

“Our investigations into these incidents are ongoing.

“Our Neighbourhood Youth Officers have been in contact with some parents as well, and will continue to engage with young people and their families where appropriate.

“Further strands of youth work are also set to begin with support from the local authority.

“Project Southwater has also been set up to address the problem in the long-term, and a considerable amount of work has already been undertaken to prevent issues arising in future.

“We continue to urge members of the public to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour to us so we can respond effectively. This can be done online or by calling 101 - always dial 999 in an emergency.”

Police officers and district and parish councillors were to attend a public meeting on Thursday aimed at addressing increasing levels of criminal damage and anti social behaviour.

But the meeting has now been postponed until a later date because some people were unable to attend.

Southwater Parish Council, in a statement, announced: “Regarding the proposed Public Meeting of 23rd September 2021 - Please note that the public meeting that was to be held in the Lardner Hall, The Ghyll, has now been postponed due to the non-availability of some partner agencies that Southwater Parish Council would like present given the importance of their involvement.

“SPC would like to stress this is a postponement not a cancellation and a new date will be announced in due course.”