Gosport neighbourhood tormented by nuisance behaviour and drug-dealing

A Gosport neighbourhood is being tormented by anti-social behaviour, making life miserable for residents.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 4:55 am

Reports of intimidation, threats of violence and suspected drug activity have been made by residents on Westfield Road.

Police say they are patrolling the area regularly.

A local resident who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retribution said: ‘We can report the fact that we see drug dealing every single day, but it just continues.

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‘We’re always putting in complaints about the smell, the drug paraphernalia, the needles, the litter, the bottles and cans which are strewn outside daily.'

The resident said a general sense of fear is felt in the area, to the extent where people are too scared to join a neighbourhood watch.

‘We asked one of them, and they said if anybody gets wind that they're in the neighbourhood watch, we don’t want to know what the retributions are going to be,’ he said.

‘You run the gauntlet every single time you leave your house, you have to look up the road and think; ok it doesn't look like there’s anybody around, let’s go out.

‘They have this underlying rule of terror, it sounds grandiose but that’s exactly what it is.’

Residents have taken it upon themselves to combat the anti-social behaviour by installing gates and security fences to reduce nuisances on their own property.

‘About a third down the road there’s a little alleyway that harks back to the days of coal deliveries.' the resident said.

‘It used to be one of the places where these guys would go down there and do their drugs.

‘It was dangerous to go in there because of the drug paraphernalia and the litter and chances are you’d probably find some unconscious person down there.

‘The residents where this alleyway backs on to their houses, they’ve chipped in and one guy, he’s gone out of his way to secure a gate that he’s put up across this alleyway.

‘Wilmott Lane residents, I would say 90 per cent of them are in their 70s or 80s so they're a highly vulnerable group of people, they all clubbed together and they ended up purchasing high metal security fencing.’

The resident, who is in frequent contact with the rest of the neighbourhood, believes they’ve exhausted all options to make the area safer.

‘We can’t go any higher, we have no one else to complain to, we have nobody else to keep badgering and keep pushing.

‘We’re at the point now where we think what is the point, it’s really frustrating, we don’t want to sit back and let them get on with it because if you do that you have no right to complain.

‘We cannot do anything else, if we try to stand up to them ourselves we get assaulted, we get verbal abuse, we run the risk of our property being damaged.’

Police are aware of residents' concerns.

Sergeant Alison Zachs from Gosport’s Neighbourhood Policing Team said: ‘Officers from Gosport’s Neighbourhood Policing Team have been regularly patrolling the Westfield Road area and speaking to local residents.

‘Since the start of September we have received two reports of criminal damage and a theft in the area, enquiries are ongoing.

‘On Friday, October 15 a 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class A drug after officers stopped and searched him in the street.

‘A small amount of suspected class A drugs were seized, the man has been released without charge but remains under investigation.

'We have also received a handful of reports of anti-social behaviour from a resident in the area throughout the year and have been working with our colleagues from the fire service and Gosport Borough Council to address these concerns.

‘Not all of the work that we undertake will be as visible to residents as our patrols, as it can take some time to gather evidence and investigate reports that are made to us.

‘In addition to the Neighbourhood Policing Team Officers that have been working in the area, we are also able to work alongside the Gosport and Fareham High Harm Reduction Team as required.

‘We are committed to tackling criminality and dismantling drugs networks in our neighbourhoods, and protecting vulnerable people who may be exploited by gangs and are subject to violence, fear and intimidation.'

If you are a victim of anti-social behaviour or you witness suspicious activity in your area you can speak to the police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency.

If you would rather stay anonymous then you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or report online at Fearless.org