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