Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton has been out on patrol with police officers following concerns about begging and drug use.
Dame Rosie, MP for Doncaster Central, joined forces with officers earlier this month see first-hand some of the difficulties being experienced in Doncaster, following concerns raised which had been raised to her by her constituents.
Rosie said: “I am very grateful to the police for letting me join them on patrol in the town centre recently.
“During the walk around it was clear to me that there is a particular increase in the use of ‘Spice’ and aggressive begging.
“But, it was also clear that money used from aggressive begging is exacerbating the peak in Spice drug use that we see in our town centre.
“There are hardworking local organisations which help homeless people in Doncaster who do need funding to enable them to help the people who need it most in our society.
“I would strongly urge anyone wanting to support people in such a crisis by donating to these organisations.”
Rosie has previously campaigned both locally and in Parliament about legal highs, like Spice.
She also worked alongside Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Police to close the ‘Heads of Donny’ shop back in 2015 after receiving numerous complaints from concerned residents.
Dame Rosie has a pressed Ministers to bring in legislation to tackle New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), which have previously been incorrectly called legal highs although many are illegal.
The Psychoactive Substances Act, which came in to force in May last year, created new criminal offences to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import and export psychoactive substances, of which ‘Spice’ is one.
A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was consulted on recently for Doncaster town centre , and aims to address a number of concerns relating to aggressive begging and anti-social behaviour.
PSPOs were introduced as part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and came in to force ion 2015 to allow the police to prohibit certain things being done, or require specific things to be done, in geographical areas.
The introduction of a PSPO is part of a wide-ranging programme of measures which are intended to support vulnerable people in need, whilst addressing the issues with individuals who choose to engage in anti-social behaviour.
Rosie added: “A joined up approach by all agencies, local authorities, the Government, volunteer groups and the public is crucial.
“Only by working together can we support people in crises to ensure they receive the vital support they need.”