TEENAGERS who have been causing consistent problems could be banned from a popular beauty spot.
Gosport Borough Council has launched a consultation for a public space protection order (PSPO) in Hardway Green following complaints of anti-social behaviour, including the use of drug paraphernalia and the verbal abuse of residents.
Reported incidents – all of which have taken place since August 2017 – include a resident having his door kicked and being physically assaulted, teens kicking a rugby ball at cars and houses, and reports of a drug deal in a nearby car park.
These incidents were recorded by the Hardway Residents Action Group, which started a petition for a PSPO to be introduced in August, gaining more than 360 signatures.
If the PSPO is put into place, young people would still be able to use the site, but could be banned if anti-social behaviour continues.
The PSPO would be implemented for a three-year period.
On November l a PSPO was introduced for Gosport waterfront to tackle anti-social behaviour in the high street.
At a meeting earlier in the week councillors explained that they had been left with no other choice.
Cllr Roger Allen said: ‘There are teenagers who are coming down to Hardway Green to deliberately cause trouble, and are giving residents a hard time.
‘People are being sworn at and abused by groups of teenagers and it isn’t the pleasant environment it is supposed to be – the police are called along but cannot do anything about it.
‘This will allow the police to do what they are supposed to. We need to get a grip on things.’
Leader of the council Cllr Mark Hook said: ‘It is clear that the residents in that area have been subjected to a torrent of abuse, and this is the only option we have left.
‘What is so disappointing is that there are a number of good and decent young people that are being let down by a minority, but I feel that we have no other choice.’
Cllr Graham Burgess said: ‘Something that is really important is that people who report these things to the police get a crime reference number.
‘This would allow us to more accurately keep track of things that are going on in the area.’
The consultation process will begin next week and run until March, with councillors meeting on Wednesday, March 7 to discuss the issue further.