Croydon Council has used its community safety powers to respond to concerns from residents and support the police in tackling antisocial behaviour in Norbury Park.
Since December, the council has been working with homelessness and substance support services to try and help people sleeping rough in tents in Norbury Park, Green Lane.
Despite efforts to engage them with support services and help them into accommodation, the encampment has remained, with police receiving increasing reports of antisocial behaviour.
Residents had reported criminal damage to benches and fencing to feed open fires, littering, street drinking and people defecating and urinating in public.
Croydon Council has now coordinated partnership working with the police, adult social care, homeless support and substance misuse services to tackle this issue.
On Wednesday the council used its community safety powers and served a Community Protection Warning Notice (CPNW) to people in the encampment.
The CPNW requires people to cease all antisocial behaviour, remove their tents and to engage with housing and other support services.
Everyone from the encampment has been provided with a place to stay and local homelessness and addiction services are working with them to provide any further necessary support.
“We will always try to engage with vulnerable people sleeping rough and help them into accommodation and other support services. Using enforcement powers is always a last resort, but when antisocial behaviour is having a detrimental effect on the wider community, we have to act.
“The behaviour from people in this encampment was having a completely unacceptable impact on Norbury residents – local people felt intimidated and unable to enjoy their green space, and that’s just not on.
“We will continue to work with all our partners to try and encourage these vulnerable people to get the help they need, and to make sure that Norbury Park remains a clean, safe place for everyone.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon