Asda Shoppers have had their say on whether a new police hub has improved ongoing problems with aggressive beggars outside the store. The community hub opened on November 16 last year in a bid to tackle problems and increase police presence to reassure shoppers.
Nottingham City Council, which helped establish the hub alongside Nottinghamshire Police and Asda, say the hub is used regularly by community protection officers and that there has been a “large drop” in the number of complaints since it opened. The hub is funded by Asda and is located right outside the hub’s entrance.
Just over six months on, people doing their shopping at the store on Radford Road say they do occasionally still feel intimidated, with others saying they would like to see police in the hub more often than they do now.
Brian Clarke, 58, who is unemployed, said: “I’ve not really noticed a change in the police presence to be honest. I’ve only ever felt unsafe when there are people who you can tell are involved in the drug business around.
“I don’t think there’s a lot more the police can do. There are buildings like the Old Fire Station opposite YMCA that are just derelict and I think with a bit less money they should change it into something where people who are struggling can put their head down. “
Increased police patrols and even a knife arch have been set up at the supermarket in Hyson Green previously, in a bid to tackle the long-standing issues. Shoppers have previously claimed some people pretended to be homeless outside the supermarket in order to prey on people’s good nature.
Patrick Hutchinson, 36, unemployed, who has lived in Hyson Green from age of eight, told Nottinghamshire Live: “Councils expect people to people to be able to find their own places to live privately. I don’t think people understand what homeless people have been through in their lives.
“Everything that’s designed to help people like housing aid and stuff is all completely overrun. I don’t have a fixed address with my two daughters we have to move around and we’ve gone from being in a council house with my mum to sharing a house with drug addicts and convicts.
“If the council put the same effort into building student accommodations as helping homeless people have somewhere to live then it would be a lot better. People sleep outside Asda every single morning and nobody cares.
“People wonder why homeless people commit crimes and go to prison but they get a roof over their head and treated better than they do as homeless people. That Hub is a complete waste of time and money. “
Zachary Trickett, 22, a university student, said: “I’ve lived around here for two years and it’s not a massive issue for me but I see why it would be for others. Sometimes I do feel a bit unsafe at night because people can be more confrontational.
“The police should do more especially about the people taking drugs. I haven’t really noticed a change in police presence in the time I have lived here. “
Portfolio Holder for Neighborhoods, Safety and Inclusion, Cllr Neghat Khan, said: “The hub is used regularly by our CPOs to help deter some of the issues reported near Asda. This has resulted in a large drop in the number of calls and complaints we have received.
“There is a monthly joint meeting to discuss ASB hotspots and Asda is a regular discussion point between partners. The general consensus is that the situation has improved significantly, but we are alert to ongoing issues and will continue to work with the police and the community to address them. “
Nottinghamshire Police and Asda have been approached for comment.
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