Police to tackle anti-social behaviour in Gosport this summer

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POLICE will launch a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Gosport this summer by sending out extra patrols and using dispersal orders.

A dispersal order can be brought in to areas affected by nuisance behaviour.

If one is in force, anyone in the area causing trouble – or who is suspected of being anti-social – can be ordered to leave and is then banned from the area for 48 hours.

Anyone who refuses to leave is committing an offence and can be arrested.

The orders apply to anyone aged 10 or above who police believe is likely to behave in an anti-social manner.

Sgt Lesley Meenaghan said: ‘If officers out on patrol see people who they think may cause a nuisance, they can move them on if they feel that the problem could escalate.

‘It will be at the discretion of the officers on patrol, upon authorisation of an inspector, so these powers do not mean that we will be moving everyone we find out of an area – just those who are or could be causing problems.’

Children aged 16 or under can be taken home or to a place of safety, and anyone moved on under the powers can be prohibited from going back there for up to 48 hours.

Sgt Meenaghan added: ‘We are conducting anti-social behaviour patrols.

‘A dispersal order is a useful power which has been used previously to tackle anti-social behaviour in Gosport.

‘For the power to be authorised the police need to know the public’s concerns.

‘To assist the police I would encourage the community to report any anti-social behaviour at the time.’

People in the town support the police taking action. But they said the orders need to be used responsibly.

Leah Sharpe, from Rowner, said: ‘It’s good the police want to help because we do have some trouble in Rowner during the summer. But there should be a good reason to issue the order because young people should be outside and not stuck indoors.’

Jack Lock, 70, from Alverstoke, added: ‘Anti-social behaviour is a nuisance and anything the police can do to stop it is a good thing.’

This summer also sees the return of the Passport scheme which offers young people free activities at different places in Gosport.

Now in its ninth year, the Gosport Borough Council -run scheme looks to reduce anti-social behaviour by giving young people something to do, encourage hard-to-reach young people to take part in activities and get people using services.