Portsmouth police bid to quell 'higher rates' of bad behaviour in summer operation

POLICE have said they will ‘increase patrols’ in spots known to see a spike in anti-social behaviour when good weather shows.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 11:17 am

Portsmouth officers have launched Operation Nautical covering Old Portsmouth, Southsea seafront and Eastney beach in a bid to tackle ‘potential for higher rates’ of bad behaviour.

It follows a summer of chaos on Southsea Common last year that saw a woman violently attacked and police forced to disperse large crowds.

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Police attended a disturbance on Southsea Common on June 23 in 2020. Picture: Gethin Jones

Parks and Southsea Common are included in the operation’s scope.

Charities Motive8 and Active Communities Network are involved, along with Portsmouth City Council’s community wardens.

Hampshire’s marine unit and the Ministry of Defence Police, whose numbers have swelled in the city since the carriers have made the city their homeport, will also be involved.

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Portsmouth South Inspector, Louise Tester, said: ‘We want our communities to feel safe as they begin to venture out more often and we are pleased that Operation Nautical will help to give people that reassurance.

‘We will have dedicated resources patrolling these summer hot spots each day, offering reassurance to our communities and deterring anti-social behaviour.

‘It’s been a long time since we’ve all been able to meet with small groups of friends and family outdoors, and this will no doubt provide a welcome boost to many of us after what has been a very long and difficult winter.’

She urged people to follow the rule of six regulations.

Richard Lee, regulatory services manager at Portsmouth City Council, said his team will be working with seafront businesses – some of whom were fined last summer – to keep them in check.

He said: ‘We'll be working closely with businesses on the seafront to make sure they have the right safety measures in place and community advisors will also be on hand during busy times for people to speak to if they have any queries or concerns while they're visiting the seafront.

‘Our Covid business compliance officers, community advisors and community wardens will be working closely with the police throughout the summer season to make sure the seafront can be enjoyed safely by the whole community.’

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