War on fair-weather yobs as CCTV installed in Old Portsmouth

Innocent fun for these sunseekers, but residents have complained that others are causing trouble at Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth
Innocent fun for these sunseekers, but residents have complained that others are causing trouble at Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth
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CCTV cameras have been installed at a popular summer hotspot in a bid to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

Two cameras have been set up and will be monitored ‘24/7’ after large crowds of yobs caused problems gathering throughout last summer at the Camber Docks and the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth.

Just last Thursday and Friday dozens of youngsters gathered at the Hot Walls causing a nuisance, residents have said.

Police are routinely called about incidents, residents have said, when the two sites are busy during sunny months.

Last weekend police set up a dispersal zone tackling ‘alcohol-fuelled’ anti-social behaviour with one arrest made.

One resident, 72, of Broad Street, said: ‘Every penny you spend down here promoting tourism is wasted – anybody down here on Thursday or Friday would never come back.’

The man, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, added: ‘It’s very, very intimidating.

‘If you speak to people they’ve very frightened. Everyone is frightened by the situation. This is supposed to be the jewel of Pompey.’

He said nobody objected to youngsters coming to Old Portsmouth but it was intimidating when they did ‘in force’.

Portsmouth City Council confirmed a camera had been replaced and another installed following concerns.

Friends of Old Portsmouth Association secretary Anna Koor and chairman Gail Baird have both welcomed the cameras being installed.

But police have said they cannot address the long-standing problem alone.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said the attraction of the Hot Walls ‘can result in public disorder’.

She added: ‘Police respond to incidents of disorder, but cannot resolve ongoing concerns through repeated police deployments alone.

‘This is not an issue which the police can solve in isolation. We are working in partnership to support the issues identified. We are support by the local community and Portsmouth City Council with their community wardens, the anti-social behaviour unit and CCTV operators. We also have support from British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence police, RNLI, Motiv8, youth groups and local residents to tackle the problems.’

People are urged to call 101 to report problems when they happen.

Public space protection order is considered

SPITTING, swearing and drunk yobs have provoked upset at what residents say should be a ‘jewel’ in Portsmouth’s crown.

The News understands a public space protection order is being considered, which would if granted give more powers to police to move people on. Evidence for such an order, with one recently implemented in Hardway in Gosport, is being collated.

Incidents of large groups of drunk youths are marring the enjoyment of the Camber Dock and Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth.

Emails seen by The News show concerns over people ‘breaking bottles, screaming and general anti-social behaviour by ‘marauding crowds of youths’ that have been branded ‘totally intimidating’.