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Station Square cleaned up by City Council and partners

Station Square in Central Milton Keynes has been given a fresher look after Milton Keynes City Council and partners carried out a deep clean, including the removal of items left by former rough sleepers who have since accepted support and accommodation.

Last year, Milton Keynes City Council opened a shelter in the city centre to offer overnight accommodation and support services for up to 18 people per night who would otherwise be sleeping rough. The City Council’s specialist outreach team encourages people on the streets to take up this warm space and support, including people sleeping at Station Square, and more than 300 offers of help have so far been accepted.

At the same time, the City Council 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 already restricts alcohol 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 result of this combined action is fewer people basing themselves in Station Square, regardless of whether they were rough sleeping or not, and the City Council and its partners have been able to remove larger items left behind, such as duvets and sleeping bags, as well as sweeping for empty bottles and other litter.

The City Council and Thames Valley Police are encouraging people to report anti-social behaviour by calling 111. It’s important residents do this, so it can be addressed as quickly as possible.

MK City Council has rolled out multiple initiatives in recent years to support vulnerable people who are rough sleeping to help them secure a life off the streets for good. As a result, the number of rough sleepers in the city has dropped significantly and while not everyone is ready to take the first step straight away, council colleagues don’t give up on anyone.

“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.” - Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Lauren Townsend

“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. - Local Neighbourhood Inspector Lee Brace

Milton Keynes City Council is also reminding local people 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. Instead, anyone wishing to donate should do so to a charity such as Shelter.


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