Littlehampton likened to South Los Angeles amid crime and anti-social behaviour

Littlehampton has been likened to South Los Angeles with boarded up shop windows following unrest in the town.

Reverend Martin Seymour, of Littlehampton Baptist Church, said this week that it was ‘time to do something’ about recent crime and anti-social behaviour.

“The latest development has been the continuous breaking of Cafe 72’s windows, which are now all boarded up, which makes the high street look like South Los Angeles,” he said.

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“Gary and Ruth, the owners, are such community-minded good people, we ought to be doing better for them, as well as others.”

Reverend Martin Seymour in High Street, Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

The Rev Seymour said the high street was now frequented by inappropriate behaviour, loud and abusive language and street drinking, which are all intimidating for the elderly and families of our town, so they decide to go somewhere else where they feel safe and can enjoy the shopping experience.

“It has been an awful time for everyone, but now is the time to regroup, rethink, refocus and do something,” he added.

“Churches together are very keen to be part of future plans and to have a strong role in town’s future.

“We have been patrolling as town chaplains for several years now and we have seen shops close and others damaged.

High Street, Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

“Shopkeepers and stallholders have seen a decline in business and behaviour. And Colin, the market manager, has seen a decline in those who want to have a stall here on a Friday.”

Last week, police said they were ‘actively targeting those committing crime and disorder in the town, and had recently executed a number of warrants.

Their comments came after Paul Wakeman, who runs ShopWatch Radio & DISC – a traders’ initiative to counter crime against businesses – for the town, claimed the town had a ‘policing crisis’ – with criminals who ‘think they rule the roost’.

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Reverend Martin Seymour in High Street, Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

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