Illegal rough sleeper camp removed from Hemel town centre

A large unlawful encampment in front of a town centre shop has been removed after a Community Protection Notice.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 4:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 5:06 pm
The illegal camp

The camp in front of WH Smith in Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, was directly in front of a children’s play area and inhabited by three rough sleepers.

On Friday July 5, a member of our Anti-Social Behaviour team served a Community Protection Notice (CPN) on the owners of the land, instructing them to clear the encampment within seven days - and take action to prevent it from reappearing.

Officers from the community safety unit at Dacorum Police Station also issued CPNs on the three individuals sleeping there, to prevent them from moving their belongings elsewhere to form another camp.

The illegal camp

Cllr Julie Banks, portfolio holder for community and regulatory services, said: “At a recent Joint Action Group meeting it was raised by professionals from various agencies that the large unlawful encampment outside WH Smith in Marlowes was becoming a problem.

"There were three rough sleepers at the location and their encampment was getting very large. This was particularly unpleasant as it was directly in front of a children’s play area.

"The Business Improvement District manager also shared her concerns around the impact this was having on people visiting the town, as well as other local businesses.”

The site was cleared on Friday July 12.

A Dacorum spokesman said: "Our Homeless Prevention and Assessment team will continue working with these clients to ensure they receive appropriate help and advice to work towards resolving their housing difficulty.

"Not all rough sleepers are homeless, so they have been given information to help manage their situation and avoid further public nuisance."