MP leads challenge to restore pride to streets
Aldershot MP Leo Docherty has made tackling the town’s street drinking and antisocial behaviour one of his top priorities.
Since his election in June, succeeding veteran MP Sir Gerald Howarth, Mr Docherty has been out on patrol with Aldershot’s community support officers ( CSO) to witness problems in the town centre first hand.
The Sandhurst graduate strongly believes CSOs need the full support of the law behind them to deal with the problems, adding: “Tackling street drinking and antisocial behaviour in Aldershot town centre is one of my top priorities.
“This is not a simple problem with one solution, and all parts of our community need to help solve the problem – from shopkeepers to local charities and the police.
“Our town centres need to be places of prosperity of which we can all be proud. I am confident that the regeneration plans for Aldershot and Farnborough, led by Rushmoor Borough Council, will have a very positive impact over the coming years.”
Mr Docherty said he is also pleased CSOs now have the Public Space Protection Order at their disposal to prevent people from congregating in certain areas.
He has previously raised the issue of combating antisocial behaviour in Parliament.
A common misconception, he said, is those committing acts of antisocial behaviour and persistently drinking in the streets are homeless.
The Vine Centre, a charity dedicated to helping homeless people in the Rushmoor community, has also spoken of the role it can play.
Director of operations Lesley Herniman, said: “Everybody thinks if you house somebody then that solves the problem, but there is a lot more to it than that – it’s about changing people’s attitudes. All the support is here for those who want it and we do some really positive work, but that’s the thing, people have to want to change.”