Since the passing of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policy Act last November, which among other things replaces ASBOs, it looks as if Westminster Council and the Police will have a few more teeth to deal with the rough sleeping problem which is afflicting parts of Marylebone. Working together Westminster Council and the Police are now able to issue a warning to people who are begging, behaving in an anti social way, loitering, making noise or creating mess on our streets in both English and Romanian.
If they are caught a second time they can be arrested and given a Community Behaviour Order and taken to court so that they can then be excluded from the Westminster area altogether.
It has taken a little while for the Police to be trained and to get going on this but from September they, together with WCC, are going to be making this a big priority so we should start seeing some improvements. It is not actually illegal to sleep rough so up until now the Police have only been able to disrupt the foreign nationals who have come to London in large numbers.
In parts of Bryanston and Dorset Squares we have had problems for many years now so we hope that this new initiative and drive from the Police and Council will be effective in removing some of the rough sleepers and act as a deterrent to others to put them off coming here in the first place.