Rowner residents report 'intimidating' anti-social behaviour as police enact dispersal order

RESIDENTS in Rowner say they face ‘intimidating’ anti-social behaviour from youths near a shopping precinct – and they are unsure if a short-term police dispersal order will solve the problem.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 12:21 pm

Police in Gosport announced the 48-hour order on Sunday, meaning that anyone acting in an anti-social manner in the area bordered by Grange Road, Rowner Road and the Alver River could be dispersed.

In a Facebook post, Gosport police said ‘breach of the order could result in arrest’ and ‘children will be taken home’.

Residents who spoke to The News said they often feel ‘intimidated’ by large groups of young people hanging around outside the Tesco superstore in Alver Village Square, Grange Road.

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Residents have reported anti-social behaviour around a shopping precinct in Rowner, Gosport.

A resident of the Ark Royal Building said residents had been plagued by anti-social behaviour for years.

Mark Wild, a 44-year-old resident who have lived in the building for the last six years, said: 'They have been getting into the building. Last week they were throwing eggs at the building. We have all had trouble. A couple of years ago they got in the building and set fire to the rug (in the communal lobby).

Commenting on the nearby ‘play area’, he said: 'The play park is a bit of a joke. I wouldn't enjoy that if I was five years old.'

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Residents say they are disappointed with the provisions for young people and children in the area.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, agreed that the nearby provisions for young people were not engaging enough.

She said: 'We are really disappointed with the park. We were promised a green space and lots to do for the kids - and it's shocking.

‘There's nothing for the kids to do in the area. It is really bad outside the Tesco’s store. It's quite intimidating.

'They are fine if people are fine with them.

'But my son will FaceTime when he's going through the area so he feels more safe.’

A group of young people outside the Rowner Youth Arts and Media Centre said they were hanging around out of ‘boredom’.

Young people want more physical activities, one said.

He added: 'We want more football stuff. Proper astro-turf.'

A representative from the Rowner Community Trust, which manages the youth centre, said the trust needed ‘to get things in place to offer more’ activities for young people.

Youth charity Motiv8 currently runs activities twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays from the space.

The group of young people said they would move on if instructed by police – and they don’t feel safe in the area.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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