Rough sleeping injunctions are ‘positive’ say council

Five men and a woman were banned from sleeping rough in Cambridge city centre

Five men and a woman were banned from sleeping rough in Cambridge city centre following court injunctions obtained by Cambridge City Council. - Credit: Cambridge City Council

Injunctions against people rough sleeping in Cambridge are encouraging them to accept support, Cambridge City Council has said. 

Councillors at the city council’s west central area committee on November 25 heard that some of those subject to the orders are now accepting help. 

Five men and a woman were banned from sleeping rough in the city centre following court injunctions obtained by the city council. 

Police said the group had brought ‘misery’ to people in the community due to aggressive begging, drug use and intimidation. 

The court orders, which last for two years, ban the individuals from things such as sleeping or lying down at any time of the day or night. 

They are also banned from taking drugs, begging while under the influence of drink or drugs, dropping litter and intimidating others in the city centre. 

Furthermore, the group is banned from the car parks at the Grafton Centre and Grand Arcade and their associated stairwells. 

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Sergeant Kevin Misik from Cambridgeshire Constabulary praised the support for rough sleepers on offer in the city. 

He said the injunctions should help make people change their minds when it came to accepting the support.  

“If you want help, accommodation or assistance it is there and the city council and the third sector agencies that are in the city will give that support. 

“What [the injunctions] will do is, it will change the risk and reward, instead of saying ‘actually I can act in an entirely consequence free manner and the other people who come into the city will just have to accept my behaviour’. 

“The work that Sarah Steggles [senior antisocial behaviour officer at the city council] has done will hopefully make these people make decisions that say ‘actually taking help is the thing I should do now’. 

Sarah said: “It’s been a really positive week - a number of individuals are already taking positive steps because of the injunctions. 

“They’re engaging with support and are accessing the accommodation which has been really positive. 

“It’s a tough action to take, but it does have some positive outcomes sometimes. 

“With all these individuals it’s very much up and down and we hope we can get them to the point where they engage and remain safe.”