STREET sleepers who refuse to engage with services and continue to be a public nuisance could find themselves being tackled by the police in the year ahead.

Chief Constable James Vaughan said he recognises that many need help – but a minority are creating enough nuisance to affect the economic prosperity of the county.

Outlining some of his plans for the year ahead at Thursday’s county police and crime panel he said: "We want to take a more focused approach for those who won’t engage with services.

"It does affect the economic prosperity of our beautiful county, but I also recognise they are vulnerable people.”

He said he was also keen to find ways of speeding up the process for young people who come into contact with the police and are prosecuted for anti social behaviour.

“It can currently take as much as four months from the point of misbehaviour to court sanctions," he said.

"We must do better and make sure they are given a deterrent much quicker.”