MP leads chal­lenge to re­store pride to streets

EST 1985

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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