Shortly after 6pm on Tuesday (23 April) police attended Chapel Street, Worthing, following several reports of an indecent incident allegedly involving members of the street community.
A 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of exposure and a man in his early 50s on suspicion of outraging public decency. A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of common assault has since been released following a police caution.
Adur, Worthing and Horsham district police commander Chief Inspector Miles Ockwell said: "Police are aware of concerns over crime and anti-social behaviour associated with the street community in Worthing town centre, and this incident is particularly shocking.
"Despite a significant amount of negative comment on policing within the town as a result of this incident, I think that our immediate response and the fact we made arrests clearly shows that we absolutely do take robust action against those committing crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB).
"We work in partnership with the local authority and other agencies to reduce the vulnerability of those on the street, with a view to also reducing crime and anti-social behaviour associated with the street community.
"I am proud of the partnership approach we take in relation to this in Worthing, and it is important to state that reports of ASB in the town centre for the first three weeks of April for this year and last year are 27 per cent lower than for the same period for 2016 and 2017 collectively, so we are having an impact.
"As the public would expect, we regularly review current crime trends and consider local concerns and we will make full use of powers available to us, such as dispersal orders and public space protection orders, to deal directly with those who are acting in an intimidating or anti-social way."
Author: Nigel Jarrett