Duvets and sleeping bags removed from Milton Keynes Station Square in 'clean up'

    Station Square has been given a fresher look after the City Council and partners carried out a 'deep clean', including the removal of items left by former rough sleepers.

    Last year, Milton Keynes City Council opened a brand new shelter in the city centre, in the former bus station, to offer overnight accommodation and support services for up to 18 people per night.

    The space includes new shower and washing facilities and access to a large kitchen area and also provides support to reconnect people to their local areas, secure homes in the private sector and assist with deposit payments. More than 300 offers of help have so far been accepted.

    Milton Keynes City Council also says it has been working with Thames Valley Police and the British Transport Police to stop people loitering and engaging in persistent anti-social behaviour in the area.  

    A Public Space Protection Order or PSPO is already in place, restricting alcohol from being consumed in Station Square, and the City Council has updated signs to remind people of this.

    MK City Council and Thames Valley Police will be refreshing training for officers on how best to manage situations where the Alcohol PSPO is being breached.

    The City Council says it has been removing larger items left behind, such as duvets and sleeping bags, as well as sweeping for empty bottles and other litter.

    Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Lauren Townsend said: “We’ve invested in facilities and a brilliant team who offer long term support alongside secure accommodation. It’s really having a positive impact for those individuals we’re helping off the streets.

    “We’ll also take action where it’s needed against persistent offenders – who are not always sleeping rough despite appearances - who have made using Station Square difficult for other people, and of course we’ll work to keep Station Square a tidier and more welcoming arrival point for residents and visitors.”

     Local Neighbourhood Inspector Lee Brace said: “Those who beg are often stuck in a vicious cycle and through partnership working, accommodation and help to take a new path have been offered to those who need it.

    “Working closely with our partners has also allowed us to intervene and use our enforcement powers where anti-social behaviour and begging is identified as being a choice rather than due to a lack of support.

    Milton Keynes City Council is also telling residents that while begging is often seen as linked to rough sleeping, it’s not always the case, and no one needs money to get into its free shelter.

    "By giving money to people you see on the street, you may be doing more harm to that individual than good", the City Council says.

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