Plans for community warden patrols in Uckfield have been ruled out.
The town council on Monday (September 16) discussed the idea for the third time in recent years.
A key reason for ruling out employing a community warden was the limited enforcement powers available and the restricted patrol times.
Councillors said they would continue working with Sussex Police to keep Uckfield safe and secure.
Crime and anti-social behaviour
They were told in a written report of neighbouring towns and villages where a community warden was employed primarily to provide a visible and reassuring presence to deter crime and anti-social behaviour.
The warden worked shifts, covering late and early hours, over seven days to try and maintain maximum availability.
During the debate on Monday, Cllr Diane Ward said she didn’t believe the council should pay until wardens had some form of authority.
She said people who did not have respect for the police would certainly have no respect for a community warden who “can’t even give them a slap on the wrist”.
She added: “At this time I don’t think a community warden is what Uckfield either needs or wants.”
Cllr Duncan Bennett said problems in the town had been dealt with through co-operative working with Sussex Police.
“There are still things that need to be done.
“My understanding in discussion with policing professionals is that it is a police/PCSO matter and they would appreciate us persuading the powers that be to increase their abilities through funding and support, rather than us go out and provide a caped crusader of our own.
“From my point of view, as they say on Dragons’ Den, I’m out.
“But I am strongly still in, as far as working with Sussex Police and other authorities locally to have a proper impact,” he said.
Cllr Karen Bedwell said she was originally in favour of the council employing a community warden.
However, after a meeting earlier in the year, in the Weald Hall, at the Civic Centre, with high-ranking police officers, the group of youths who have caused the most amount of trouble recently were all in the [Luxford] field.
She said they jostled someone who had been at the meeting. An hour later the same youths were causing trouble in the town.
“Sadly a community warden is not going to help.
“If they are not going to take notice of high-ranking police officers, then I don’t think the council spending money it doesn’t have on a community warden, sadly, is going to be effective,” she said.
There were hints during the discussion that councillors would wish to reconsider the decision, IF community wardens had significant powers of enforcement.