Brawl in Fareham museum garden sees teenager arrested for carrying a knife

SECURITY staff responsible for a ‘very significant’ drop in anti-social behaviour in Fareham town centre were assaulted after a confrontation in a museum garden – during which a knife was found.

By Richard Lemmer
Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 1:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 2:57 pm

Police and security staff were called to the garden in front of Westbury Manor Museum in West Street at 2.10pm yesterday, after reports of anti-social behaviour and street-drinking.

Members of staff from Venture Security, who have been contracted by Fareham Borough Council to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre, were attempting to move the group.

The security team was called following reports that a glass bottle thrown against the building had caused a tile to fall from the roof and hit a member of the public.

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Police were called to Westbury Manor Museum in 84 West Street yesterday. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

The situation became violent with one of the security guards reporting being assaulted before police arrived.

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A 19-year-old man was held and a spokeswoman from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘On being searched he was found to be in possession of a bladed article.

‘(The man) was arrested on suspicion of common assault, possession of an offensive weapon, and a public order offence.

Council leader Sean Woodward with the two security officers patrolling Fareham town center earlier this year.

‘He has been released from custody but remains under investigation as enquiries continue.’

Despite the incident, there has been a ‘very significant reduction’ in anti-social behaviour in the town centre, according to council leader Sean Woodward.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘Cllr Woodward said: ‘Venture security have done a very good job for us.

‘We have had a huge amount of positive feedback from users of the town centre.’

But issues around the museum gardens remain ‘a bit of a nuisance’, according to Councillor Trevor Cartwright, executive member for health and public protection.

Cllr Cartwright: ‘The low wall seems to be an ideal place for them to sit.

‘We are trying to deal with that at the moment – but that’s the only real anti-social behaviour problem we have had.

‘There has certainly been a big improvement from last year.’

Venture Security was brought in as part of council efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour following an outcry from residents at crime meetings last year.

Cllr Woodward added: ‘Colleagues are very happy with the approach of additional security – whether that continues as contracted or directly employed staff will depend on review.’

The contract for the security staff will be reviewed by the council next year.

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