Councillor praises police dispersal order in Hilsea area but wants more action to clamp down on anti-social behaviour as residents 'have been through hell'

AN INCREASED police presence in the Hilsea area has been branded a success by a local councillor.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:04 pm

Scott Payter-Harris praised the work of Hampshire police, after a dispersal order was launched on May 30.

Officers had the power to move on groups and ban them from returning within 48 hours

More police were patrolling the Howard Road area to combat anti-social behaviour.

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St Francis Church, in St Francis Crescent, Hilsea, had one of its outside walls brought down by vandals. Residents have been struggling to deal with incidents of anti-social behaviour in areas of Hilsea, around Howard Road.

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Councillor claims residents 'scared to go out of their homes' in areas of Hilsea...

Councillor Payter-Harris, who previously said residents were ‘scared to go out of their homes’, told The News: ‘Residents have told me the police presence was high since Operation Relief has been in play, which has helped, but there are still elements of criminality in the area.

‘It’s very reassuring the police are taking this seriously.

‘They are throwing what they can at it.’

Councillor Scott Payter-Harris, of Hilsea ward. Picture: Portsmouth City Council.

The dispersal order lasted for three days, covering Northern Parade and Matapan Road, among other streets.

Cllr Payter-Harris said the problem is improving, but not solved.

He added that a resident described an incident to him where people were seen driving mopeds across the children’s play park at Mountbatten Centre.

The Conservative councillor hopes a longer dispersal order will be implemented to stamp out the problem.

He said: ‘That will change the way that people behave in that area, and make them think twice about what they do, as they’ll be told to leave.

‘The residents have been through hell due to some of the behaviour that has been going on.

‘We need to make sure they can live their lives without fear of reprisal.

‘We need to keep being tough on these people, and not let them get away with it.’