ADDITIONAL support for Portsmouth residents will be available after councillors agreed to a new community warden team.
Eight workers will build on the work of the existing community warden team and the local authority security team, providing support and advice to rough sleepers and dealing with other environmental enforcement issues such as fly-tipping.
The council's community safety boss, Cllr Dave Ashmore, said: 'This is very welcome. Doubling the number of community wardens will help people feel safe. I don't think we can underestimate the work they have done with the homeless and rough sleepers.'
Cllr Lynne Stagg agreed. 'They have an advantage over the police in that they know the area really well and they get to know the individuals really well,' she said.
'They build up a rapport. Because of that they can prevent problems happening because they know individuals and the problems that could occur.'
The extra help will extend the hours of support on offer. Two team members will be on for each day and each evening shift covering between 8am and 2am, Monday to Friday and from 10am to 2am at the weekend. These hours would be flexible to meet the demands placed upon the service.
Cllr Darren Sanders added: 'This is what people want. They want people to walk around the streets, people they can trust. In some places in the city unfortunately the police struggle to gain their trust. They want people not just on the high street but on the estates.'
The existing community wardens team cover the demands across the rest of the city between 10am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday.