Launch of Operation Urban to help tackle homelessness in Stevenage

New initiative launched to help tackle homelessness in Stevenage. Picture: Pexels.

New initiative launched to help tackle homelessness in Stevenage. Picture: Pexels. - Credit: Archant

A new initiative to help tackle the issue of homelessness and crime in Stevenage has been launched.

Hertfordshire police and Stevenage Borough Council have jointly launched Operation Urban, which seeks to better connect local services which help combat homelessness and the associated crime and anti-social behaviour.

The initiative aims to broaden the way the So Safe Stevenage Community Safety Partnership safeguards vulnerable homeless people, while bringing uniformity to those who consistently commit crime and anti-social behaviour.

In line with the Homelessness Reduction Act, the multi-agency operation seeks to address the problem by providing better signposting to the Stevenage No More service, and improving engagement with the homeless community.

The No More service offers intensive support to address the causes and consequences of substance misuse or offending behaviour, which could relate to housing, finances, health or wellbeing.

Community Safety Partnership Teams on the streets will identify those who are involuntarily homeless or intentionally homeless and then inform the council's Community Safety and Housing Teams to track their progress.

Inspector Simon Tabert said: "Dealing with the street homeless in Stevenage needs a multi-faceted approach because each person has a different set of complex issues.

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"Operation Urban gives us this flexibility with the safety net of enforcement for those people who decline to work with us and help themselves."

Operation Urban's first patrol identified four homeless individuals, two of whom are now being supported by the No More service.

Borough council leader Sharon Taylor said: "Nobody should have to sleep rough and that is why we must do all we can to help the most vulnerable in Stevenage and provide them with the support they need.

"This joint operation with the police is a step in the right direction to tackle this important issue."

The No More service is available to any adults in Stevenage. Call Stevenage Borough Council on 01438 242666 or email nomore@stevenage.gov.uk

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