Swift Action To Remove Homeless People, Say Police

PUBLISHED: 15:43 08 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:16 04 May 2010

I WOULD like to use this opportunity to talk about the swift action taken by the local policing team and East Cambs District Council to move a group of homeless people (front page story, Thursday, March 4).

Understandably, local residents felt alarmed a

I WOULD like to use this opportunity to talk about the swift action taken by the local policing team and East Cambs District Council to move a group of homeless people (front page story, Thursday, March 4).

Understandably, local residents felt alarmed at the site, but I fear last week's front page does not tell the full story of our local authorities' work behind the scenes to tackle this issue.

A diligent local resident phoned a member of my team at 8.30am on Monday, February 15 to alert us to some people sleeping rough in the park. At 9am we accompanied a district council employee to the site.

We saw two tents and a blue tarpaulin covering cook wear and as damage had been caused to the area, we evoked our powers to move the group.

At 11am we convened a multi-agency meeting with housing and council officers. At 11.40am the group was served with a notice stating they must move by February 16 at noon.

Housing officials met the homeless and arranged accommodation for them for the morning of the 16th. The tents remained for two days to give them time to reclaim their belongings before the council waste team cleared the site 48 hours later.

I am proud to be part of a team which was able to deal with this issue so quickly, meeting the needs of the community and the needs of the homeless. It was thanks to the local resident for reporting it to us that we could tackle it so quickly and I ask that in future other residents bring this to our attention so we can do the same again.

INSPECTOR ANDY BARLETT

Ely Police Station

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