A hedgehog was stabbed and left to die in a Portslade street late at night.
The callous incident is one of a number of acts of anti-social behaviour prompting a Portslade councillor to call for more of a police presence.
Peter Atkinson, who represents North Portslade ward on Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “Residents are feeling powerless in the face of multiple incidents and want the police and council to take concerted, joined up action to identify and deal with the culprits.”
Councillor Atkinson said: “Residents are also saying that they have lost faith in the reporting system of phoning 101 as they are often left waiting on the phone sometimes for over half an hour.
“Those that use the online reporting tool often get no feedback apart from an automated response.
“The city council also has an anti-social behaviour (ASB) reporting system, but it is not widely known about.”
The Labour councillor said that residents are calling on the council’s anti-social behaviour team and the police to join forces to deal with a rise in local anti-social behaviour.
He said that he had been contacted by a large number of local residents who are getting increasingly upset and angry at multiple incidents of anti-social behaviour in their area.
- Large objects being placed in the middle of Chalky Road at night endangering motorists
- One resident having windows smashed in the middle of the night
- Rubbish bins being set on fire
- Groups of young people congregating late at night in various areas – Crossway/North Lane junction, Mile Oak Rec, Chalky Road and Graham Avenue
- Cars being vandalised
- Houses being “egged” in Chalky Road with a huge number of missiles
- A car’s windows being smashed in a field at the back of Oakdene Crescent
- Car badges being ripped off cars
- Youths damaging fences (and being identified as they ran away and reported to the police)
Councillor Atkinson said: added: “Shockingly, a hedgehog being stabbed late at night and left to die in agony in the middle of a pavement.”
He added: “I will keep going back to the police and the council and asking for a more co-ordinated response to this current upsurge of ant-social behaviour in North Portslade
“I’ll be speaking with the council’s own ASB team and asking them to work with the police on this, as they often do on individual cases.
“I’ve had an excellent response from residents to a request for more info on the 101 problem which confirms that this system is simply not working.
“Ultimately, though, this will come down to local ‘intelligence’. The local ringleaders are probably well known to a lot of people and that will be their undoing hopefully.
“We also shouldn’t tar all young people with the same brush, though. The vast majority of teenagers do not take part in this totally unacceptable behaviour.
“There have also been some very good points made by local residents about lack of local youth facilities and more needs to be done on this front. It won’t completely stop ASB, obviously, but it would give local kids an outlet and somewhere to go.
“There will, however, always be those who are way beyond this approach, and it is these that we need to get the police and council to concentrate their efforts on.
“None of this, of course, is helped by the reduction in funding for the police. Sussex Police have lost £57 million since 2010. That is a staggering amount.
“We used to have four Police Community Support Officers just for Portslade. They had good local knowledge and were well respected by the local community. We now have a much smaller ‘team’ who cover the whole of Hove and Portslade. They are all good people but cannot possibly offer the same level of service or effectiveness.”
Councillor Atkinson said that he was also keen to stress that Mile Oak and North Portslade remained a good place to live, adding: “Portslade and Mile Oak has a lot going for it. We mustn’t let a tiny minority spoil it for everyone.”
Sussex Police said that the force was aware of the current issues of anti-social behaviour in the Mile Oak area of Portslade, adding: “Officers have been in liaison with Councillor Atkinson and other community representatives over the last few days.
“The matter was discussed in detail at a meeting of local action team chairs, attended by police, at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday evening (10 April) and we continue to work in partnership to address the issues.
“A PCSO has been assigned specifically to deal with the incidents.”