POLICE investigating two violent incidents in the Havant area have said that, overall, a crackdown on nuisance behaviour is working.
Havant’s Neighbourhood Policing Team launched the year-long campaign Operation Syren in December, in a bid to address concerns about anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
Hampshire Constabulary confirmed the scheme has resulted in fewer reports following a peak in October, 2016.
An update on the operation comes after a gang of youngsters attacked a 20-year-old male in Havant Park earlier this month, prompting residents to take to social media to comment on the ongoing trouble caused by youths in the area.
Talking about the operation, a Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘We’ve worked with businesses in Havant town centre, issued banning letters, visited parents of children causing anti-social behaviour, provided diversionary activities via Active Community Networks and where possible prosecuted those who have committed criminal offences.
‘If a specific anti-social behaviour issue is raised we work to identify those involved and where appropriate, and where there is evidence to take formal action, we will do so.’
Last Friday police received reports that a group of youths were fighting in New Road, next to the entrance to Bedhampton train station.
A video of the brawl was circulated on social media, but police have said it is unrelated to the attack in Havant Park.
Earlier this month The News reported the Federation of Trosnant Schools in Leigh Park was forced to drain and shut its swimming pool after groups of youths continued to break into the site, vandalise it and put their own safety at risk.
The spokeswoman for Hampshire police added: ‘I would ask the community to be considered when viewing footage on social media, as it doesn’t always portray the full picture.
‘I’d also urge parents to make sure they know where their children are, what they’re doing when they go out and what time they’ll be home.’
Councillor Tony Briggs, deputy leader of Havant Borough Council, said: ‘I was saddened to hear about the recent incidents in Havant Park and Bedhampton. This relatively small group of young people seem to lack any social responsibility or indeed concern over the impact their behaviour is having on others.
‘The police in Havant do an excellent job in combatting some very serious modern-day issues and do not need to be spending their time chasing round after groups of irresponsible youths.
‘I have recently met with the local police commander, Chief Inspector Clare Jenkins, and assured her of our continued support.’
Police say the Havant Park assault on July 8 is being treated as a serious offence.
Anyone with information about the incident should call 101, quoting 44170262173. Anyone with information about the incident in Bedhampton should call 101, quoting 4417027137.
You can keep up to date with Operation Syren news by following @HavantPolice on Twitter and signing up for Hampshire Alerts at hampshirealert.co.uk.