Police project to support vulnerable Roffey families

JPCT 140114 S14030035x South Holmes Road, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 140114 S14030035x South Holmes Road, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

An area of North Horsham previously notorious for drug-related crimes will be the subject of a police project to improve the neighbourhood.

South Holmes Road has been chosen as one of the first places in West Sussex to be targeted by a Government initiative to support vulnerable families in turning their lives around.

It has been renamed ‘Think Family’ by West Sussex County Council and Horsham police have been taking the lead with this particular project in Roffey.

Speaking at a North Horsham Parish Council meeting last Thursday PC Jonathan Walker, said they hoped to reduce joblessness, anti-social behaviour, and child truancy.

While it was in its early stages, the next step was to carry out a neighbourhood survey to find out what issues residents wanted to see tackled.

PC Walker explained: “What we want to do is find what they would like and how we can move their neighbourhood forward.”

He continued: “The most important thing is the community feels empowered.

“There’s no right or wrong answers to this and we have to try and test things.”

He hoped the project would give residents a ‘greater sense of community resilience and pride’.

Sergeant Chris O’Leary said: “It’s all very comparative. When you look at the data for South Holmes Road, whilst it may have a reputation as not being particularly great in terms of crime the statistics do not back that up as crime is very low.”

He added: “When you compare [it] to the rest of West Sussex and the national picture Roffey is not a big problem. It’s just the district has to identify areas to focus on.

“There are in effect other areas that will have exactly the same treatment, it happens Roffey has been given the attention first.”

Roger Wilton, chairman of North Horsham Parish Council, said: “There was drug dealing over there at one time but has now been sorted out and this involved arrests, people put in prison, or evictions, and I think that’s pretty good.”