A multi-agency partnership has been working to tackle homelessness and anti-social behaviour.

Cornwall and Penzance Town Councils have teamed up with the police, Penzance Business Improvement District and other partner agencies to work closer together in responding to and resolving community concerns.

Rough sleeping has been a growing issue in the town and it has become the focus of the work over a period of 18 months through a new strategy, named ‘Cornwall Council’s Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy.’

Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio holder Andrew Mitchell said: “Additional bed spaces have been delivered at a cold weather provision hostel.

“Additional outreach workers have been brought on board and work is being done to improve the access to rented accommodation,” he went on to say.

Charity St Petrocs have set up a pop-up shelter in Penzance with nine bed spaces, which came as a result of the snowy conditions experienced by the county earlier this year.

Anti-social behaviour is also being tackled and police are insisting it is an issue being taken seriously.

“Twelve arrests have been made for offences ranging from criminal damage, to serious assault, breach of community behaviour orders, shoplifting, theft, drugs and burglary,” said Sergeant Gemma Freestone.

“We are also undertaking ongoing intelligence-led proactive work to address drug supply at a local level, and we’ve undertaken raids on licensed premises,” she went on to say.

Penzance Town Mayor Councillor Dick Cliffe said the multi-agency response was making a difference and that many of the homeless population are often unfairly vilified for their situations.

“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated, and rough action is being taken in response. Rough sleepers require a different response to some very complex problems. In many cases they are victims of anti-social behaviour and don’t deserve to be demonised."

Other initiatives taking place include restrictions on the sales of alcohol to known street drinkers.

A new community safety hub will open early in the New Year in Causeway Head and the Safer Penzance team will also be holding a public information day in January.