CONCERN over anti-social behaviour and rough sleeping in the town has sparked a response.

Taunton Deane Borough Council has deployed street wardens in the town centre to provide 'reassurance' for shoppers and visitors.

The wardens will be funded on various day and night shifts in a random working pattern, focusing on hotspots in the town. From November 29-December 31 they will operate on a regular basis.

They will report problems such as broken glass and needles; liaise with other agencies; move on beggars and street drinkers and help the vulnerable to a safe place. They will work with partners in the One Team as well as police and charities Arc and Open Door.

Cllr Jane Warmington, who holds the community leadership portfolio, said: “We hope this will bring some confidence to our community that we are actively doing what we can to ensure our town is safe and that those most vulnerable are supported.

"This is a short-term measure to address the current issues being experienced in the town centre and to compliment the work we are already doing through the Rough Sleeping One Team.”

The announcement comes after a Channel 4 news feature on the homeless problem across the UK was aired. During the segment, two people, believed to be rough sleepers, were caught in camera in need of medical attention on the streets of Taunton.

In August, your County Gazette launched an appeal to raise £40,000 to help Arc - formerly the Taunton Association for the Homeless - fund outreach workers tackle the problem of homelessness and rough sleeping in Taunton. 

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