Open Market benches are becoming drug dealing magnet

Posted On 04 Mar 2015 at 2:51 pm

Residents living in blocks next to the newly refurbished Open Market have asked for benches to be removed as they are attracting antisocial behaviour.

People living in the Barrows block in Francis Street say they are plagued by a range of low-level problems.

They have requested the benches along the road be taken away to prevent them acting as a meeting point for those out to cause trouble in the area.

At a meeting of the London Road Area Local Action Team last night, Colin Blanchflower, from the Barrows Residents Association, said: “I have witnessed people doing graffiti on the road signs outside Aldi. The same night I saw two large men intimidating two young skateboarders.

“People are drinking and dealing drugs outside the empty Forfars shop.

“What we need to do is make Francis Street a more residential place and give it a bit of an identity. We want to make it more welcoming, in the right way.

“We want to get rid of the benches there because while they might be part of the planning application, they’re an ideal meeting point for people carrying out antisocial behaviour.”

He added residents were also looking into different options, such as play streets, and trying to get a City Car Club car in the street as there was no residential parking.

Simon Bannister, from Brighton and Hove City Council’s community safety projects team, said: “I went down and had a look and sat on the benches. I think they aren’t situated very well in context of the rest of the street.”

Ward councillor Pete West said: “The presence of those benches seems like it is the magnet for the antisocial behaviour. Maybe those benches would be more appropriate put in London Road?”

The removal of the benches will now be investigated.


  1. Bob Reply

    The irony is that a bit of regular through traffic and footfall to short term parking in the street would discourage such anti social loitering.

  2. caeos Reply

    Suppose a gated street is the next option or regular police patrols or response

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