Penzance has been in the news (BBC Spotlight) 3 nights in a row with linked reports on the new Breadline night shelter. The irritating factor is the BBC’s continuous attempt to conflate rough sleeping with ASB. Whilst there are ASB offenders who are rough sleepers, the majority of rough sleepers keep a low profile in Penzance. The ASB issue is driven by street drinking and aggressive begging by addicts – most of these offenders have homes. The rough sleeping problem is a national scandal that needs changes to Government policies and more resources in key areas (mental services for one). We all want a solution to reduce the misery of homelessness. But solving the rough sleeping problem will not solve Penzance’s ASB problem! The media does not do anybody any favours conflating the two issues – it just demonizes the homeless and raises false expectations that dealing with rough sleeping will solve the ASB problem.
Cornwall Council has recently issued a statement to this effect on behalf of the Safer Cornwall/Safer Penzance partnership. You can read it here .