Plans to revive Roffey unveiled

JPCT 100414 S14160127x Police initiative in Roffey. Think Family.  -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141004-165347001
JPCT 100414 S14160127x Police initiative in Roffey. Think Family. -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141004-165347001

Residents of Roffey were offered a glimpse of the future as plans aiming to rejuvenate the area were put on show last Wednesday (October 15).

The results of the initial stage of the Think Family scheme, run by West Sussex County Council alongside Horsham police and other local organisations, were put on show at the Millennium Hall.

Local agencies and voluntary groups carried out a survey of residents living in South Holmes Road in April.

Sergeant Chris O’Leary of the Horsham Neighbourhood Policing Team is orchestrating the project and presented the survey’s results.

He said: “What stood out for me is how people feel in South Holmes Road in terms of being safe, how safe they feel in the neighbourhood walking during night and day.

“I’m surprised by the level of engagement - people have a voice and have said what they think needs to improve.

“We are trying to move into the rest of Roffey now, and bring South Holmes with us.”

Sussex Police is hoping to reassure residents concerned over drug use in the area, by working to identify and prosecute drug users and dealers.

Since January 2013 there has been a police crackdown in the Roffey area, including warrants issued and the closure of a crack den.

In total, 102 residents of South Holmes Road completed the survey. Drug use and dealing was the third most common concern raised by respondents to the survey, with 33 per cent raising the issue.

A total of 38 per cent said drunk or rowdy behaviour was a problem, 37 per cent identified noisy or nuisance neighbours, while a fraction of residents said sexual exploitation, prostitution and racial harassment were problems.

After residents said improved street lighting was needed, the facility has been modernised, and work is progressing for the construction of two new bus shelters.

St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Roffey will be hosting a community cafe complete with internet access, run by community volunteers.

The authorities welcome further views and suggestions.