Crackdown as youths ‘terrorise’ community in Portsmouth

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Police are investigating three incidents in Southsea and Eastleigh. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

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CHILDREN ‘terrorising’ a community by throwing stones at windows and hurling mud at people’s doors have sparked a crackdown.

Portsmouth police have imposed a dispersal order in Somers Town and Southsea for 48 hours to stop anti-social behaviour.

Sgt Rob Sutton

Sgt Rob Sutton

The power means they can demand anyone suspected of being involved in anti-social behaviour to leave the area for two days.

Sgt Rob Sutton, from the neighbourhood policing team, said: ‘A few youths have been causing a bit of annoyance, anti-social behaviour. We get it sometimes during the holidays and we’ve got the Easter holidays and they’re bored.

‘This group is going round terrorising the local community with childish behaviour, throwing stones at windows, mud at front doors, just being generally annoying and causing people distress and harassment.

‘So the dispersal order was put in place so anyone we see committing it, or suspected of it, they will stay out of the area for two days.

This group is going round terrorising the local community with childish behaviour, throwing stones at windows, mud at front doors, just being generally annoying and causing people distress and harassment

Sgt Rob Sutton

‘If anyone breaches that order they’re dealt with robustly so hopefully that message gets across to the other youths.’

Sgt Sutton added he believes the problem is linked to schoolchildren being off for Easter but if the problem is not resolved, further action will be taken.

He said within hours of the dispersal order powers being in place some youths were told to leave the area.

The power is under Section 35 of the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The roads covered in the order are: St Paul’s Road, Winston Churchill Avenue, Greetham Street, Blackfriars Road, St Andrew’s Road, Elm Grove and Kings Road and all the roads within this area.

Sgt Sutton added schools, the council and parents will also be informed.

Portsmouth South District Inspector Phil Lamb authorised the dispersal order in agreement with the local authority. The order is due to be reviewed tomorrow.

Anyone with information or questions should call the neighbourhood team on 101.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘The aim is to ensure that any incidents of anti social behaviour are effectively dispersed.’