Troublemakers in Halloween costume will be turfed on in new Havant police crackdown

The killer clown craze has swept the UK

The killer clown craze has swept the UK

MP voices concerns over police resources

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POLICE have unveiled plans to tackle anti-social behaviour, including the ‘killer clown’ craze.

Young people terrorising the public by wearing scary Halloween masks have been targeted in a new strategy by police community support officers.

As the evenings draw in at this time of year, police always anticipate an increase in reported incidents of anti-social behaviour, with youths revelling in the new found shadows and ‘anonymity’ of halloween masks and finding delight in causing nuisance to others.

PCSO Sean Hurst

Several dispersal zones have been set up in the Havant area, meaning PCSOs can move on anyone committing anti-social behaviour, and take home young people under the age of 16 who are in the zone between 9pm and 6am and not accompanied by an adult.

They have been implemented in Havant town centre, West Leigh skatepark and the Point 7 precinct on Middle Park Way, Leigh Park.

PCSO Sean Hurst said: ‘As the evenings draw in at this time of year, police always anticipate an increase in reported incidents of anti-social behaviour, with youths revelling in the new found shadows and ‘anonymity’ of Halloween masks and finding delight in causing nuisance to others. As a result of this increase, local police have established dispersal zones in the areas most affected by the issues caused.’

Battins and West Leigh PCSO Hurst says that anyone found or believed to be causing issues in the monitored zones ‘can and will be moved on’.

Failure to comply with police instructions is an offence which he says ‘will be dealt with appropriately’.

The measures follow the ‘killer clown’ craze which has swept the UK, with numerous incidents reported across the Portsmouth area.

Masked troublemakers have been spotted trying to frighten people and causing problems by knocking at homes.

As part of police measures, Halloween masks used to commit anti-social behaviour will be confiscated.

PCSO Hurst said: ‘Please be aware of where your children are and who they are with in the run-up to Halloween to ensure this time of year is fun for all.’

Councillors have welcomed the police’s introduction of dispersal zones across Havant, with Cllr Tim Pike, of St Faith’s ward, praising the ‘proportionate response’ to anti-social behaviour.

He said: ‘I’m very content with the reasons given for these measures and I think it will achieve a safe environment.

‘We want people to have fun but not intimidate other residents.’

Cllr Leah Turner, cabinet lead for communities and housing, advised Havant residents to ‘have fun, take care and listen to instructions from police’.

Hampshire police said there was currently no plans for dispersal zones in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport.

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