A community activist has written to people living and working in and near a busy Brighton shopping street calling for action to address crime and anti-social behaviour.
Chris Cooke is urging traders and residents in and around St James’s Street to come to public meeting to discuss their concerns.
The meeting is due to take place at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Friday 30 November.
Mr Cooke said in his letter: “For the last 18 months there has been a noticeable decline in the St James’s area.
“Anti-social behaviour has risen dramatically and there has been a proliferation of begging and street drinking.
“The night-time economy has also led to an increased amount of serious assaults in the area.
“Many people perceive that the neighbourhood is not very safe in the evenings and particularly at weekends.
“Apart from community safety issues there are also a number of environmental issues that residents want addressed.
“There is a great deal of vandalism, the streets are poorly lit, the streets are dirty and the general upkeep of the area has declined.
“Many residents and businesses want the street to become pedestrian priority.
“Part of the problem has been due to the lack of a dedicated action team in the area for the last two years.
“This needs to change, hence the need for this public forum.
“It’s a public forum for the community to air their views – no such meeting has taken place for two years – and also an opportunity to question police and council officials.
“Hopefully the end product of the meeting will be that a new action group will be formed if enough committed residents and businesses can come forward to effect change.
“Change is needed and fast. The area needs an action plan to make the streets safer and therefore make the area that more welcoming to residents, businesses and, importantly, visitors to the neighbourhood too.
“Time to get rebuilding!”
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