Hampshire Constabulary deployed 'large police presence' in Hilsea to reassure community in response to reports of assaults and criminal damage to buses

OFFICERS were deployed in a ‘large police presence’ in Hilsea to tackle reports of assaults and criminal damage.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 3:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 3:31 pm

Hampshire Constabulary implemented Operation Relief last month to battle against anti-social behaviour.

Yesterday evening, a officers were deployed in numbers in the area as part of ongoing enquiries.

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Police officers are continuing to deploy large numbers of officers to Hilsea, as part of Operation Relief. Last month, St Francis Church, in St Francis Crescent, Hilsea, had one of its outside walls brought down by vandals.

A statement from Portsmouth police, issued yesterday, said: ‘You might have seen a large police presence in Hilsea this evening. This is in relation to Op Relief that continues.

‘We have received numerous reports tonight including assaults and members of the public reporting vulnerable, lone females.

‘We have responded in numbers in order to deal with those responsible and to provide visible reassurance to our community.’

A dispersal order was issued in the Howard Road area last month, covering streets including Northern Parade, Alex Way and Matapan Road.

It gave officers the power to move on groups of people, and bar them from returning for 48 hours.

Councillor Scott Payter-Harris, of Hilsea ward, praised the efforts of police for responding to criminal reports, but hopes more can be done in the future.

Portsmouth police added that two males were stopped and searched on two separate occasions – nothing found – and one boy under 18 was escorted home.

They also responded to criminal damage reports.

Portsmouth police said: ‘We have been working with the Hilsea bus depot following reports of criminal damage to the buses and we will be following up on our actions tonight with the council, childrens services and housing.

‘We do understand that seeing lots of officers can be intimidating but we use this tactic to provide an effective and visible response to issues.’