The Mayor of Truro, Rob Nolan, has promised to move the homeless street drinkers that have set up camp outside the Natwest Bank in Truro’s city centre by the end of today (Wed). Whilst the Lib Dem Mayor says he has sympathy for the plight of anyone unfortunate enough to be homeless this small group, who it is said arrived from upcountry around New Year, are “behaving very badly and seem to spend all day sitting outside the Bank drinking and abusing people passing by. The final straw came last weekend when they pitched tents outside the Bank”
Mayor Nolan released the following statement late yesterday confirming he would reluctantly be using the ancient Vagrancy laws to move the camp on:
“Over the last three months I’ve held several meetings with the Police, St Petroc’s, Addaction, Cornwall Council, NatWest Bank and Sarah Newton MP to try to get something done about the Street Drinkers.
On Friday the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police allocated five additional Officers to Truro, and NatWest now accept that the area outside the Bank is their property and are taking legal advice on how to deal with the situation. Environmental Health are inspecting the area, and the space behind BHS, nearly every day.
Sarah Newton is now a junior Minister in the Home Office with responsibility for vulnerable people. I have made sure that she knows what’s happening.
It was disappointing to see three brand new tents outside the Bank Monday morning, and to read reports on Facebook etc that the weekend saw some shocking scenes of fighting and abuse.
At this stage I did push the Police to use the Vagrancy Act of 1825. It seems bizarre to be using an Act that’s almost 200 years old, but with no progress being made it seemed like time for desperate measures. The Police are not keen.
However in a new development legal papers have, or will be today, served on the vagrants asking them to vacate the premises outside the Bank on Wednesday, and legal proceedings have been taken to back this up should they fail to vacate.
Where they will go afterwards is a concern. We don’t have the specialist facilities they need and it’s possible that they’ll end up in a car park or some of the Cornwall Housing flats where rough sleepers have been staying. But Cornwall Council are aware of this and we’ll just have to deal with the situation one step at a time”
Mayor of Truro