Local media has recently reported about the Police removing items belonging to rough sleepers in Shrewsbury.

This move has been made in partnership with Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council as part of the Public Space Protection Order that any unattended property, which includes sleeping bags, will be removed and taken to the town centre police station where it will be held for ten days to be collected.

We fully support this move.

Many rough sleepers keep their belongings tidy, wrapped up, dry and warm. In fact, most tidy up the area they are sleeping in, keeping it free of litter.

However, a small minority are not leaving just belongings.

As our manager, Tim Compton highlighted in the article in the Shropshire Star, the move was important to remove potential health hazards. Items removed include soiled belongings, human waste and drug paraphernalia, and we all want the streets to be a safe place.

It is not fair to be asking people who work in businesses in the town to be cleaning this up. For rough sleepers, keeping their belongings safe can be a problem, and we often keep belongings at The Ark, in our limited storage facilities.

Our outreach team is in regular contact with the rough sleepers and we are able to support them to get their belongings back. We also ensure everyone sleeping rough has access to warm bedding if they want/need it.

We are very fortunate the police in Shrewsbury carry out their duties with deep compassion; they do a lot to support the homeless community in our town especially at night when they monitor them knowing they are vulnerable.

Read the full article in the Shropshire Star here: https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/shrewsbury/2019/01/10/property-of-shrewsbury-homeless-is-taken-away/