Growing controversy over the recent explosion of rough sleeping and begging in the streets of Windsor has reached a peak, after council leader Simon Dudley wrote to Thames Valley police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld warning that townspeople were fearing for their safety.

In the letter Cllr Dudley insists that many beggars on the street are not homeless at all - or have chosen to reject support services offered by the council in favour of begging.

He warns that bags and 'detritus' left on the pavement by beggars are a security risk.

He said in his letter: "The level of tourist interest is set to multiply with the royal wedding at May and there are increased concerns from our residents about their safety."

Cllr Dudley caused a furore on Twitter when he tweeted about 'an epidemic of rough sleeping and vagrancy in Windsor' calling for police to focus on it before the Royal Wedding - leading to angry claims he was attacking the homeless.

Earlier today Mr Stansfeld expressed surprise that the letter had been made public before he had even seen it.

He said the issues had not been raised when he attended a Royal Borough council meeting in October - adding: "I will of course provide Cllr Dudley with a full response addressing his concerns once I have received the letter and investigated further the issues he has raised."