A multi-agency group set up to tackle anti-social behaviour in Lewes has enjoyed a positive start.
At the end of March, local services, agencies and community representatives came together to form the Lewes Multi-Agency Safer Communities Operations Team (MASCOT) with the aim of preventing and responding to harm, keeping people safe and feeling safe, and safeguarding vulnerable people in the community.
The formation of the multi-agency team has enabled Sussex Police to work with a range of partners to identify and respond to emerging risks.
The team has already achieved some quick results in its early stages, including the identification of people involved in crime and anti-social behaviour at Linklater Pavilion, The Depot and Green Wall, leading to partnership engagement, support, diversion and enforcement.
Inspector Ed Ripley, of the Lewes prevention team, said: “Our thanks go to all key workers across Lewes District who have stepped up in unprecedented times to maintain ‘business as usual’ in our communities.
“We’ve heard inspirational acts of kindness and a strong sense of community clearly exists within our neighbourhoods.
“It has been inspiring to see the Lewes community come together to shine a light through difficult times; Clap for Carers and the recent Light Up Lewes event demonstrated how communities stand shoulder to shoulder to help and support each other to adapt and adjust to a new normality.
“Over the past eight weeks, the Covid-19 lockdown has offered a period of respite for many communities from the behaviour of a small group of young people in Lewes town centre.
“As the majority of traders have been closed over that period, we have not received the volume of calls or associated problems in the town centre that we have discussed in the past.
“Unfortunately, some communities have continued to experience anti-social behaviour and we continue to work with them to address the problem.
“We acknowledge how challenging this period has been and we’d like to thank Lewes residents for following Government guidance to help key workers respond to the pandemic.
“As we move forward though, we’re likely to see an increase in incidents, but we are prepared. The formation of the multi-agency team has enabled us collectively to identify and respond to emerging risks and we are working together in Lewes town centre with a common purpose of reducing anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder within our neighbourhoods.
“We are taking proactive steps to curb anti-social behaviour as the lockdown measures are gradually eased and would like to encourage Lewes residents to report incidents to us so that we have a better understanding of the picture in Lewes and can respond appropriately to tackle problems.”