Homeless people set up home in Tredworth hedge
HOMELESS people have set up home inside a hedge in Tredworth, according to those living nearby.
Tony Ward, vice-chairman of Tredworth Estate Tenants and Residents Association (TETRA), said people had been living inside an overgrown hedge in Paul Street and that two weeks ago, they accidentally burned downhalf it.
"I have complained about this four times but still nothing has been done," said Mr Ward.
"The hedge itself is a big laurel hedge which must be 10 feet tall. It needs to be cut down to around six feet, but no one seems to be taking responsibility for it.
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"There have even been homeless people living inside the thing sleeping rough.
"About a fortnight ago they lit a fire and part of the fence and hedge burned down. Something needs to be done about it."
Mr Ward also said there was evidence of prostitution taking place in the nearby alleyway between Moreton Street and Melbourne Street.
"You find all sorts down there suggesting that prostitution is going on," he added.
"Plus it is so overgrown. That is probably why the prostitutes get down there, because it is so well hidden.
"That is another thing that needs to be looked at urgently."
Gloucester city councillor Usman Bhamia (L, Barton and Tredworth) said prostitution in the ward had been a huge issue for some time and he has called for action.
He said: "They are very crafty and cunning, they know where the police are, they know where the police look, so they just keep changing their location.
"It has been a problem for years and years and it keeps coming up time and time again.
"I have been pleading with the council for years to get proper lighting in the ward and CCTV cameras too, that is the only thing that will stop it."
A spokesman for Gloucester City Homes confirmed it was looking into the issue with the overgrown hedge.
"The hedge is not on housing land," the spokesman said.
"However, we understand that part of the hedge is overhanging the garden of one of our properties and we will be trimming this back if necessary."
And Gloucester City Council has confirmed its cleaning team will be in the area this week looking to deal with the overgrown alleyway.
A spokesman said: "We will be doing a deep clean in the area on Wednesday this week.
"Our partners Amey will be de-weeding the alleyway."
Police said they were unaware of any prostitution in the alleyway but confirmed the problem was on their radar throughout Barton and Tredworth.
A spokesman said: "We have not had any complaints of prostitution in that alleyway although we are seeking to combat anti-social behaviour in the area and will be working with partner agencies and the community to tackle issues there.
"Where prostitution has been raised as a concern previously in the Barton area we have carried out patrols with outreach workers to try to help the vulnerable women involved.
"We have also given out warnings to the men seeking to find prostitutes.
"Anyone in the community who wants to report prostitution is encouraged to do so, either via 101 or the force website."
In May last year, officers were out in force in a bid to tackle the issue, increasing patrols and confiscating alcohol as part of a drive to ban on-street drinking. Offenders were given warnings and enforcement and referral action was taken to tackle the prostitution problems in the area.