Man in court after being found '˜incoherent' on drugs and '˜sprawled on the ground' in Portsmouth

POLICE are cracking down on anti-social behaviour and drug misuse in the city centre after residents raised concerns.

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:01 pm
Police are cracking down on anti-social behaviour and durg misuse in Portsmouth city centre after residents raised concerns.

Dispersal orders are just one the ways officers are reducing crime in Commercial Road.

Neil McAvery appeared in Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with failing to comply with a dispersal order in Commercial Road over the weekend.

The 44-year-old of no fixed address was arrested in the street on Saturday afternoon and pleaded guilty to the offence.

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Magistrates heard he was found by police ‘incoherent’ on drugs and ‘sprawled on the floor’.

Defending Graham Hopley said: ‘He was a witness in a trial for a murder and gave evidence in crown court.

‘He says it gave him PTSD and he started to damage his flat. After that he became homeless but was then badly assaulted himself.’

The court was told that he goes to the chemist each day for his methadone.

Mr Hopley added: ‘He has told me his memory is not good and he has started to write things down as he said he went to the chemist four times and they told him he had already been.’

McAvery’s solicitor also told magistrates that he is getting help from his mother to find a privately rented flat.

Magistrates kept McAvery in custody until 3.30pm yesterday so he could not breach the dispersal order.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘As a response to concerns a section 35 order was put in place specifically around the use of spice and drugs.

‘We are actively targeting the city centre through Project Stark.’

As previously reported in The News, Project Stark was launched at the end of last year and monitors Portsmouth’s Guildhall Walk, Guildhall Square and Commercial Road after a spike in crime.

The team shares information with the council and other organisations to targeting prolific shoplifters, thieves and has been trying to help homeless people.