Scheme already bringing results

Police are linking up with the council to tackle town centre crime
Police are linking up with the council to tackle town centre crime
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A new crackdown has been launched in a bid to help rid Blackpool town centre of drunks and beggars.

Illegal street traders and lewd behaviour will also be targetted in the new project, which will see police officers and council officers patrol the streets together at various times.

But the new initiative will offer a helping hand to people before turning to enforcement action if necessary.

Persistent offenders will be offered access to council services which could help them.

It is hoped that approach will solve problems in the long term, rather than just displacing issues in the short term.

It comes after one man is alleged to have been spotted begging 76 times in the last three years.

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “This operation aims to target persistent offenders and get them the help they need to solve the problems in the long-term.

“That’s our first port of call, solving problems rather than putting them off.

“This is the most humane thing to do, it’s the most effective thing to do and, while it costs more in the short term, it saves money in the long term.

“However, where people refuse help, point blank fail to engage with us or continue to cause problems, they will feel the full weight of the law applied to them.”

Police officers will work alongside council workers to combat problems. The scheme is already under way and officers from the town hall will accompany police on various different patrols during the day and night.

Insp James Martin of Blackpool Police said: “Part of our work includes increasing the visibility of uniformed officers within the town centre and working on positive interventions to prevent 

“I am confident this joint working approach with the council and other agencies that operate within the town centre will reassure residents and visitors that Blackpool is a safe place.”