Welcome to London Road Area LAT – Brighton, Sussex, UK


The dates of upcoming meetings are: 13th Feb, 13th March, 10th April, 8th May 2018 . We meet in the Gates room of Calvary Church, Viaduct Road, by kind permission of the Trustees.

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The Local Action Team (LAT) is a voluntary community group which was formed in late 2008 after heart-felt public expressions of concern about the state of London Road, Brighton. Since then London Road has “been on the up” and has changed hugely for the better.

The LAT has been a major partner in these improvements and has had some sort of involvement with virtually all the successful contributory projects.

The LAT brings together traders and residents, ward Councillors, the neighbourhood policing team, council officers, and representatives of local residents’ and traders’ groups. The aim is to work for agreed goals in partnership, and provide a forum for viewpoints to be aired and debated.

  • How can I raise an issue? Just come along, meetings are open to anyone living or working in the area. You can email in if you like.
  • Where in Brighton? The London Road LAT is in the St Peters and North Laine ward, and covers the northern end of the ward. The boundaries are; Ditchling Rise to the north, Ditchling Road and the Level to the east , St Peters Church to the south and the New England Quarter to the west. (see map).
  • Where do you meet? Meetings are held at the Calvary Church ,Viaduct Road (next to the firestation at Preston Circus) on – usually, in 2017 – the second Tuesday of each month (not August) at 6.30pm.
  • Who chairs? The LAT is currently chaired by local resident Rev. Philip Wells. He can be contacted by email philipwells@btinternet.com.
  • Minutes of previous meetings are available from the menu above, agenda for the upcoming meeting is to be found below (usually a few days before the meeting).


Further information and other local groups


Chichester dealt with its graffiti problem — Southdown Rise Residents Association

From The Brighton Society – Almost three years ago, Chichester District Council invited the Brighton Society to meet the Council’s Community Development Officer to see what lessons could be learnt from Chichester’s experience of dealing with its graffiti problem. Chichester Council’s campaign against graffiti began over fifteen years ago in response to quite severe graffiti problems […]

via Graffiti Case Study – how Chichester dealt with its graffiti problem — Southdown Rise Residents Association

Next meeting London Road Area LAT #Brighton Tuesday 13th March 18:15 for 18:30

Draft agenda:

  1. Welcome and introductions
    1. Apologies: Richard, Mike, Tony, Cath
  2. minutes of last meeting (Feb 13th 2018) – date of next meeting – April 10th
  3. Policing and Licensing
    1. updates on correspondence – request for 4x30mins attendance sent to C.I. Veale
    2. Licensing – there is a new application to replace the revoked licence at International Food and Wines. Hearing to take place 16th March
  4. Graffiti – upsurge in local incidents e.g. Francis Street
    1. Is there a mandate to pursue this in partnership with other local groups?
    2. Tim Read has been asked to come along next time
  5. Updates -if any
    1. data protection for mailing list – “record of informed consent” – nothing actioned as yet
    2. reply about Viaduct Road communal bins –  from Adrian Ash, Interim Assistant Director – City Environmental Management – follow-up letter sent
    3. Oxford Court – progress & financing of PSPO gating – letter sent requesting funding
    4. Sainsburys Community guardians – meeting held, and request for specific info sent to Lisa Peretta
    5. Clyde Road phone box removal
    6. fire engine access Stanley Road – ? bendy bollards progress?
    7. zone J parking – not working for local residents – letter sent to Cllrs & Charles Field
      1. complaints via C.Tappenden, Lucy.
    8. future item “Community Infrastructure Levy” https://www.gov.uk/guidance/community-infrastructure-levy#spending-the-levy
    9. development of “Elder Place” via Legal and General – display 16:00-19:00 22nd March, Jurys Inn & 11:00-14:00 24th March Brighthelm Centre.
  6. Any other business – please inform the chair before the start of the meeting
    1. dumping issues on Francis Street (via Kirsty Munro)

“Letter of concern” about local policing – sent to Chief Inspector Chris Veale – with reply added

Dear Chief Inspector Chris Veale,

I am writing to you on behalf of the London Road Area Local Action team – mandated by the recent LAT meeting 12/12/17 . They wish me to explain why they feel concerned and dismayed at the current policing situation and why the response upon which we are receiving feedback is felt to be inadequate.

I would like to point out that we enjoy good working relations with [our local Inspector], but feel that his good efforts may be hampered by lack of resources and policy imposed on him from higher up.

At a recent LAT chairs’ Forum meeting the police representative appeared to express the view to the effect that crime and disorder, especially drug-related crime is no worse than it has ever been. This was a very loyal and morale-maintaining comment for him to make.

But when reported back to our LAT it was clear that residents do not share that perception.

In relation to violent crime we have seen a spate of violent crimes and incidents among which are:

17th January 2017 – Elso Brito charged regarding a stabbing in McDonalds, London Road

20th January 2017 – knifeman arrested near Co-op London Road (Youtube video)

21st February 2017 – 10:45 violent incident resulting in 26 year old with suspected broken jaw

21st February 2017 – 11:45 violent incident reported, but no apparent victim coming forward

22nd July 2017 – Dennis Thompson-Simpson stabbed in KFC, London Road

11th August 2017 – 15 year old boy sustained head injuries in Oxford Street at 02:49 (serial 111 of 11/08). Residents in Francis Street report blood everywhere at their doorway.

6th October 2017 – 17 year old stabbed in buttocks by Carlo Gosden in London Road

6th October 2017 – man arrested for incident involving a machete in Level, adjoining London Road

1st December 2017 – knife used in attempted robbery at Admiral Arcade London Road (1178 of 01/12)

We have no sense that this frequency of violence is matched by any previous years’ records. We are grateful for the enforcement activities, but dismayed at the prevalence of the problem.

Drug dealing.

The LAT has been contacted in regard to drug-dealing in at least five separate locations:

  • in local residential street Winchester Street/corner with Clyde Road. Residents are grateful for Police intervention, but the problem still continues to a degree, and the perpetrators appear to have little shame, or fear of being caught. We can also flag up the corner of Lorne Road/Stanley Road – where residents report that they ring 101, write emails to 101, ring 999 and seem to get no response at all.

  • Providence Place. Residents are grateful to intervention by Equinox and Council Community Safety team when a pattern of drug dealing was reported to them via the LAT.

  • Oxford Street, which is adjacent to the Level. Traders have been approached by youngsters selling drugs. We are grateful to the Council for an intervention designed to remove access to a dodgy side-alley. Residents have expressed great concern about this area.

  • the Level. This area is a constant concern regarding drug dealing, and we await news of CCTV which seems to have been pending since your letter to Caroline Lucas of 13th March 2017. PS Chris Durrant’s email of 9/10/17 told us that CCTV was still awaiting a pole to put it on, and now that electrical wiring is still needed.

Again – the LAT has no record of so much drug activity being flagged up in previous years.

It seems to the community that problems are occurring which the police are unable either to deter or deal with adequately under their present funding and policies.

You will understand that residents and traders are upset:

(a) with the loss of localised PCSOs to deter crime, gather intelligence, and feedback results to the community

(b) the perceived inadequacy of the 101 phone system – which leaves residents feeling frustrated and powerless

(c) the explicit policy of reduced communication with community groups (LATs in particular). This means that when information is requested it is not always forthcoming, and that face-to-face contact at meetings is hard to obtain as being contrary to policy. Thus the community has no channel for quick and specific feedback on day-to-day concerns, until they escalate to become matters of extreme crisis and anger.

(d) and wonder whether in fact the drug-dealing concerns are linked to the violent incidents, as we understand that “stabbing in the buttocks” may indicate one drug group sending a message to another drug group, or other gang-related behaviour.

We would value your comments on the current situation, the trends we flag up, and the policing response to it, I will pass any comments you may have back to the London Road Area LAT.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Wells

London Road Area LAT chair

19th December 2017

Repy from Chief Inspector Chris Veale  21/12/17

Dear Philip.

Thank you for your email and for raising your concerns and I genuinely believe that the challenge for my organisation is to bridge the gap between the perception and reality of crime in Brighton and Hove.

I have commissioned a crime, drug and ASB data product specifically for your ward, although changes in our recording practices may skew some of the data. Some actual reports to police may yield more accurate results. I will reply in more detail in the early part of next year, or when the product is available to me.

I also offer the following observations in that at the time of the reported crimes and ASB, local Neighbourhood policing teams and a separate, albeit small bespoke ASB team were the primary department for multiagency problem activity. However, as of the 6th of November this year, Neighbourhood policing teams have been replaced by larger local Prevention teams. These Prevention teams are now made up of upskilled PCSOs, Police officers, and Police Enforcement officers which provides local policing with greater capability and capacity to manage such problems. There is also greater resilience at 1st line management (Sergeant) level to oversee any such problem solving activity.

In terms of drug enforcement and preventative activity, we have patrolled the level and fast food outlets in your ward more than ever before. The police and partners are also now more aware of the criminal tactic of cuckooing (drug dealing from residential premises of a vulnerable resident)and have implemented clear reporting, information sharing processes and responses with regard to this risk, from both an enforcement and safeguarding position.

I should also add, that when drug issues are raised at the LAT with our partners, we generally work together to jointly problem solve. Oxford street is a good example of this.

With regard to your lettered points:
a) We now have a pool of PCSO, Police Officers and Police Enforcement officers whom are better equipped to deter crime and gain intelligence. I accept we need to improve how we feedback results to the community but we use community messaging and social media to do this.
b) re 101, the average wait times are 4 to 5 mins, that said I am aware of some extreme cases. I would encourage people to report issues via our website.
c) We are less visible but remain accessible. We have a bespoke Brighton Hove page on the force website and your local team can be emailed with any requests you may have. If you implying around our position in that we would only attend a LAT by exception, where a specific police purpose was evident. I suspect we have attended your LAT reasonably frequently.
d) Drugs and violence do tend to overlap and we are working with partners to reduce the impacts of drug related violence in the City.

I hope this is helpful.

Have a Merry Christmas and best wishes

Chris Veale
Chief Inspector CV241
Prevention & Operations Teams
Brighton and Hove Division


future of Community Rail consultation: deadline 28th January 2018

From Seaford-Brighton like community rail partnership –

Dear Seaford-Brighton Community Rail stakeholders,

The government has published its consultation for the future of Community Rail https://www.gov.uk/government/news/community-rail-stations-of-the-future-to-be-shaped-by-new-blueprint-for-success . The deadline is 28th January 2018.

Clearly SCRP Ltd, the  line steering group partners and the partners to the Strategic Advisory Board will wish to comment on this.

If your organisation is responding to the Department for Transport, do please copy us in.

Kind regards,

Kirsten Firth

Community Rail Development Manager

Sussex Community Rail Partnership

Lewes Railway Station, Station Road, Lewes BN7 2UP

kirsten@sussexcrp.org    07891 556897  www.sussexcrp.org


Police Precept consultation – deadline 5th January 2018

This is from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office:

Good morning,

The Commissioner has launched a county-wide consultation asking members of the public if they would be prepared to pay more for policing in Sussex to sustain our service.

The Commissioner is very keen that she can reach out to as many residents as possible across the county and the consultation will close at midnight on Friday 5th January 2018. I would be grateful if you could let your members/peers/networks know about the consultation, which is on our website, or can be requested by contacting the office on 01273 481561.


Kind regards

Natacha Skelton
Partnership Development   Officer


International Food and Wine – licensing panel revoke licence

There was a hearing on Friday 1st December 2017 when Police and Council Trading standards were pressing the Council Licensing Panel to revoke the license of International Food and Wines on Preston Road.

At the hearing the licence holders were accused of a string of failures including selling alcohol to minors, sale of alcohol without proper labels in English, and a catalogue of evasion and shortcomings in their co-operation with the licensing authorities.

The LAT was represented at the meeting to press the panel to ensure that  Licence Holders to uphold high standards in our area.

The panel decided to revoke the licence.

The premises have 21 days within which to appeal.

The decision of the panel can be found here.