Residents in Portsmouth neighbourhood complained to police watchdog the IOPC as three youths are released from bail over underpass attack

RESIDENTS have complained to a national police watchdog amid ‘frustration’ more is not being done to stamp out anti-social behaviour in a troubled neighbourhood where three youths have now been released from bail following a recent attack.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:55 am

People living in Nessus Street, Buckland, say they have been left abandoned by police after ‘feral youths’ were accused of ‘ruling the roost’ in the area where more than 100 reports have been lodged with the force in the last year.

The most significant incident recently involved a teenager being attacked in an underpass connecting Nessus Street and Grafton Street on May 10 at around 8pm that led to the arrest of three youths.

Police have now confirmed that all three have been released without charge, though two of the suspects are still being investigated.

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Youths gathering in Nessus Street, Buckland

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A spokeswoman said: ‘The 14-year-old from Southsea (who is now listed as having a Gloucestershire address) has been released with no further action being taken against him.

‘The 14-year-old boy from Portsmouth and 17-year-old boy from Hilsea have both been released from bail but remain under investigation. An investigation is ongoing.’

Complaints from residents over anti-social behaviour had been raised following incidents of threatening behaviour, assaults, thefts and vandalism.

Police on patrol in and around Nessus Street after a dispersal order was made

It prompted police to deploy a dispersal order on April 26 for four days which they said was successful in curbing further criminality.

A surgery was also set up for police and those living locally to discuss and address issues moving forward.

But residents continue to air grievances - and have now turned on police by lodging a complaint with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

‘We are very frustrated around here and have had no option but to make an official complaint to the IOPC,’ one local said. ‘It's not just about here it's Portsmouth and society in general.

The dispersal order in and around Nessus Street

‘I had a response from the IOPC saying they have been in contact with one of the neighbourhood officers and they or a colleague would contact me.’

Speaking of the ringleaders of nuisance in the besieged location, the resident added: ‘They are all known to the police. When you talk to a police officer they tell you things are in place to sort them out and yet it still goes on. They've had more than 15 months to deal with them.

‘The main protagonists live in privately rented accommodation and apparently this is a major obstacle in dealing with them.

‘There's nothing worse than coming home from work to find these idiots doing their thing and then it's the weekend and it ramps up. There's never much peace.’

Hampshire police confirmed it was aware of the complaint but declined to comment on it.

However, the spokeswoman said problems in the area had reduced recently. ‘In terms of anti-social behaviour in and around Nessus Street, we’ve seen a significant reduction in incidents over the past couple of weeks – we haven’t received any reports since June 1,’ she said.

‘We will continue to monitor this and are still conducting patrols in the area as well as working alongside our partners on addressing these issues and ensuring a long-term solution.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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