04:30PM, Thursday 08 February 2018
A police superintendent has dismissed fears that homeless people pose a security risk to the public by leaving their belongings on the streets in Windsor.
During a meeting of the council’s Crime & Disorder Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Cllr Eileen Quick (Con, Clewer East) said she had been contacted by residents who were worried about the amount of bedding being left in the town centre.
She said: “It worries me that the mayor’s car isn’t allowed to be left at Windsor Guildhall when the Guard Change takes place but these large amounts of personal belongings are.
“Anyone could come along and plant an incendiary device or a bomb that could cause loss of life.”
But Thames Valley Police superintendent Bhupinder Rai said that bedding and sleeping bags on the streets posed no more of a risk than rubbish left outside hotels and businesses.
She said: “We have had the whole route, now, and previously and continuously checked by our counter-terrorist security advisors and they have not deemed any of that is a risk.”
Panel members discussed the council’s proposed street dwelling and anti-social behaviour strategy during the meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall yesterday (Wednesday) (Feb7).
If approved, the strategy could see a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) introduced in Windsor which would allow the council to dish out £100 fines for aggressive begging and leaving unattended personal items in a public area.
The scheme has been described as a ‘Support before Enforcement’ model where rough sleepers would be given a 56-day window to gain access to housing support.
Failure to engage with the council could then lead to warning notices and fines being issued.
Sunninghill and South Ascot parish councillor Spike Humphrey said: “The consequence of failing to engage with support is that they remain rough sleeping before ill health, early death and the fact it is virtually impossible to have a secure income.
“We really don’t need to add any further consequences to that.”
The panel approved the report and it will now be discussed by the Royal Borough’s cabinet.
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