'The worst inaction I've ever seen': Pub company scolds council over Northampton's rough sleepers

An encampment of rough sleepers have been situated on Abington Street for the past 10 weeks.
An encampment of rough sleepers have been situated on Abington Street for the past 10 weeks.

The company behind a new Northampton pub has criticised police and the borough council for "a complete lack of action" over anti-social behaviour by rough sleepers on their doorstep.

A camp of homeless people has been situated outside a boarded-up shop in Abington Street for the past 10 weeks.

But now a legal director for UK Pubs Ltd - which runs the newly-refurbished Wedgwood in Abington Street - has branded the response to public disorder by the homeless as "the worst inaction I have seen in years".

It comes after another new store in Abington Street - EazzyTrade - last week called for action after dealing with anti-social and allegedly violent behaviour from the encampment since their opening day in May.

In an email to the borough council and Northamptonshire Police, legal services director Joseph Sams wrote: "I have to admit of 2,700 pubs we look after, and the several police forces we work with daily, this is the worst inaction I have seen in years.

"The town centre is already facing challenges in relation to empty retail units and the soon to be gone M&S. We don't need our customers to face the vagrancy problem outside of KFC and the anti-social behaviour this is attracting.

"We are sympathetic to people that find themselves in challenging times, however the levels of crime and disorder are not acceptable."

Mr Sams claims his team has spent over £2.5million on the pub to help regenerate Abington Street.

But now he has told the borough council and the police they are "failing the local community and businesses".

The borough council say that yesterday (July 24) marked the first of a series of action days to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town and enforce protection orders against street drinking, begging, littering and drug use.

They will also try to discourage shops from selling alcohol to anyone who is already under the influence.

Councillor Anna King, cabinet member for community safety, said: "We hope that this combination of action and enforcement will make a difference to our streets so that shoppers, families and visitors to the town can enjoy a safe and welcoming experience.”