A homeless man has been rehoused in Richmond after spending three years on the streets.

John used to sleep around the bus shelter on Pantile Bridge and during this time officers from the Fullwell and Hampton Hill Safer Neighbourhoods Team struck up a relationship with him.

On August 29, John told them he did not want to spend another winter outside.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: The bus shelter on Pantile Bridge

Officers contacted the council, facilitated a conversation, and John was offered and accepted a one bedroom flat. He moved in on September 11.

The Safer Neighbourhood Team supplied him with some essentials from their own pocket and a local charity gave him some furniture and appliances.

John was also given a bicycle to help him be self-sufficient and travel to interviews.

John said: “After such a lengthy time in the old bus shelter in Hampton Hill, it comes as a tremendous relief, as winter approaches, to have finally been provided with accommodation.

“I would like to express my gratitude for the support and all the effort the Constabulary have provided to make this happen.”

Superintendent Rob Applegarth from Richmond Police said: “I was delighted to hear that John now has accommodation and won't have to spend another winter on the streets.

“I especially pleased to see the relationship the Fulwell and Hampton Hill Safer Neighbourhood have built with John, local authority partners, and with Cllr Boyle whose assistance in achieving this result should be acknowledged.

“It is a great example of caring, proactive neighbourhood policing at its best.”

Councillor Mark Boyle, Richmond Council cabinet member for community safety, said: “I am really pleased that thanks to the support of the local police safer neighbourhood team, John has finally accepted the Council’s and RHP’s offer of housing.

“He is very well known in the local community and many people have shown concern over the years for his wellbeing.

“He has been offered support on a number of occasions however he has not previously wanted to accept the help.

“Now, thanks to the good relationship and trust he has built up with local police officers, he has a home.

“This is a great example of the police working with the community, the council and partner organisations.

“And I wish John the best of luck for the future in his new accommodation.”