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Arches in Hove murder case to be gated
The seafront arches where a homeless man was killed are being gated to stop rough sleeping.
After numerous reports from locals about antisocial behaviour, Brighton and Hove City Council has moved to make the shelters near the pitch and putt course in Kingsway more secure.
Gates are currently being installed at all 10 arches with work expected to be complete by the end of the month.
It comes months after the badly-beaten body of Lea Williams, 45, was discovered lying underneath a blanket in the archways.
Graham Cox, who represents the area on Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “It’s really frustrating that it is taking so long to make this area safe.
“As is often the case though, these things are not as simple as at first sight.
“Making the grilles to gate off the arches requires the skill of specialist tradesmen.
“The grilles have to be fabricated by hand, galvanised and then installed – each set takes around three weeks to complete.”
Coun Cox said the council’s seafront office had recently served notices on those living in tents as they were in breach of the local by-laws.
A council spokesman said: “Our focus is primarily on helping rough sleepers in our city.
“The CRI rough sleeper outreach team we commission works tirelessly to try and help people sleeping rough to access accommodation as well as health and social care services and financial advice.
“However, we cannot force rough sleepers to accept the help on offer.
“The work we are doing to block up the arches is a one-off piece of work that will eliminate a long standing issue.
“It follows extensive discussions between councillors and council staff.
“Frontline staff working with rough sleepers liaise with police and community safety teams to move people on.
“We also support people to relocate in cases where they do not have a local connection to Brighton and Hove.”
Three people have been charged in relation to the murder of Mr Williams on February 8.
All have appeared before magistrates with a trial due to take place at crown court.
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