Police officers have promised to step up patrols in ‘lawless’ Longton after reports of aggressive begging and fights in the town centre.
StokeonTrentLive recently revealed officers had seized a knife as families complained about ‘living dead drunks and druggies’.
Just days later a makeshift rough sleeper camp was set up beside The Crown Hotel – a man and a woman living inside declined to be interviewed.
But police officers have now hit-back and said reports of anti-social behaviour in the town have actually decreased over the past year.
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But they have said they will ramp up patrols and complete a ‘week of action’ alongside the charity Brighter Futures.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Stoke South Neighbourhood Policing Team, together with Stoke-on-Trent City Council officers, Brighter Futures’ rough sleeping team, and other partners, are working closely on a daily basis to address issues of concern raised by residents and businesses in the Longton town centre area.
“This includes offering and providing support to those people who are in need and where necessary by taking appropriate enforcement action against those individuals who are committing crime or anti-social behaviour in and around the town.
“Crime and anti-social behaviour incidents have actually reduced in and around Longton town centre area over the last 12 months, with crime down by 28 per cent and anti-social behaviour down 32 per cent.
“This provides an indication that over the longer term this joint working approach is having a positive impact although it is acknowledged that there are some current issues that may be causing concern to local businesses which are being investigated and addressed.
“Over the coming weeks Staffordshire Police, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and other partners will be offering an opportunity for direct engagement with local businesses in the town to discuss any concerns and will also be delivering a ‘week of action’ in the town from 21 September. More information about this will be provided in the next week.”