Concerns raised over Doncaster tent city

Doncaster's Tent City, on the former site of the Doncaster Civic Theatre. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Tent City MC 5

Doncaster's Tent City, on the former site of the Doncaster Civic Theatre. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Tent City MC 5

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Concerns have been raised with officials over a tent city that sprung up in Doncaster town centre last month.

Doncaster’s tent city was set up on November 19 on a patch of council-owned grass in Waterdale in the town centre.

Those involved with the site said it was there with the intention of providing safe shelter for the borough’s rough sleepers.

Since the creation of tent city, scores of people have volunteered their time as well as donating food and clothing to the camp and the dozen or so people understood to currently be living there.

But members of the public have now claimed that drug dealing, drug taking and prostitution has been taking place at the campsite.

Doncaster Council, which is currently working with the camp and its residents, has confirmed it has been contacted with complaints about the site.

However, the local authority has refused to go into details of the nature of the complaints that have been made.

Karen Johnson, assistant director of communities, said: “We understand that homelessness is an emotive issue and there have been some comments passed on to the council about Tent City – some of them supportive and some of them not.

“We will deal with any of these as they arise.

“We continue to engage with the organisers, volunteers and people using Tent City and other organisations working with those that are homeless and will try to support as many people as we can who do find themselves homeless.

She added: “This is a complex issue and we have a number of agencies, as well as ourselves working hard to ensure that people who are homeless are re-homed, but also have the extra support and care they need to ensure they do not become homeless again.”

South Yorkshire Police say they have not received any complaints about criminality on the site.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We haven’t had any complaints about the area.

“Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council are the lead agency on this one but from a policing perspective, we haven’t had anything reported to us.”