Officers from the North Herts Safer Neighbourhood Team have been joining colleagues from Haven First, Key Stage and North Herts Council, in walkabouts in Hitchin and Letchworth, to check on rough sleepers.
Operation Urban is the police response across North Herts to homelessness issues, supporting both the homeless person and the wider general public.
Launched last year under the Prevention First initiative, Operation Urban aims to help those unfortunate enough to find themselves street homeless and at their most vulnerable, by teaming up with partners to offer support.
“The operation is designed to offer ongoing support by finding accommodation and offering housing plans, as well as help through addiction and mental health pathways where needed,” explained North Herts Community Safety Sergeant Chris Adshead.
“However, we must balance the needs of the whole community and it’s important that we work with the homeless to ensure there is awareness around what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of the associated anti-social behaviour, which sometimes manifests itself in such situations.
“Yesterday we did not find anyone sleeping rough in either town, although evidence would suggest that rough sleeping is still occurring in some locations, and we will be continuing to carry out regular checks in these areas.
“If you wish to support the homeless, we would urge you to donate to a local outreach charity such as the Haven, rather than donating money to those on the streets, which may just go to fund drugs and other addictions.”