Operation to tackle antisocial behaviour and help rough sleepers in St Albans

A homeless person on St Peter's Street, St Albans. Picture: DANNY LOO

A homeless person on St Peter's Street, St Albans. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Police were in St Albans on Wednesday as part of an ongoing operation to address rough sleeping, antisocial behaviour, street drinking and thefts in the city centre.

Between 10am and 3pm, officers carried out targeted action with partners from St Albans district council.

They spoke to rough sleepers and gave them a letter listing the local support services available, as well as highlighting that begging, street drinking and drug use are all forms of antisocial behaviour and can result in police action.

During the patrols officers arrested Dariusz Kumpicki, 32, of no fixed address, on suspicion of shoplifting.

He was subsequently charged with theft from a shop and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, and is due to appear at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on March 22.

Police also responded to reports of a homeless man behaving antisocially outside the Entertainer toy shop.

He was given verbal and written warnings about his behaviour, including a Community Protection Warning forbidding him from sitting or lying in doorways or directly in front of commercial properties, leaving personal property unattended or being rude or abrasive towards members of the public.

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The man was secured a bed in a night shelter but declined the offer.

St Albans Safer Neighbourhood Insp Andy Wiseman said: “We work with our partners to ensure that those who are rough sleeping in St Albans are offered the appropriate support to help them turn their lives around.

“However, as part of this we must also tackle any anti-social behaviour that could cause harassment, alarm or distress to the wider community and those visiting the city centre.

“Those committing anti-social behaviour can be made the subject of a Community Protection Notice Warning and if the behaviour continues this can be escalated to a Community Behaviour Order.

“Further action, where required, can include the use of dispersal powers, arrest and the person being summoned to court.”

The council recently distributed a leaflet, entitled ‘Concerned About A Rough Sleeper?’, with advice on how to help.