Petition seeks to curb anti-social problems at Hardway Green
An online petition calling for a public space protection order to be imposed is gathering support at change.org. It was started by the Hardway Residents Action Group.
The group, which formed in June, claims that the summer months have caused problems for residents for many years.
The petition stated: ‘Local residents and users of the Hardway Green have suffered many years of anti-social behaviour from young people. Because there are no boundaries set around the behaviour of these young people, this area is out of bounds for the majority of the community during warm summer weather.
‘We believe a public space protection order will force the authorities to focus on the problems in this area and seek a permanent resolution.’
As The News reported in May, reports of anti-social behaviour in Gosport have steadily risen in the past year – prompting borough councillors to seek a solution. Cllr Diane Furlong said: ‘The problem lies in both litter and anti-social behaviour. I can’t say I was aware of the petition, but I would say that we will certainly be taking action – most likely commencing as of next week.’
Cllr Furlong, who is the ward councillor for Hardway, said that this issue was very personal to her, given her role in the initial creation of the green.
She said: ‘I had a big hand in this green being created, so I do feel partially responsible.
‘Cllr Roger Allen and I have met with residents in the past few weeks, and I can assure them that action will soon be taken.’
Ms Furlong believed that one of the reasons for a rise in anti-social behaviour was the anonymity that comes with modern society.
She explained: ‘It isn’t the case that everyone knows everyone else anymore, which leaves a sense of anonymity.
‘I’ve been told of instances where residents are abused, heckled or even had footballs kicked at them – and these youngsters know they will get away with it.
‘The police and crime commissioner has been informed of the situation in Hardway Green, and will be all be working together to resolve the situation.’
Currently, the petition has 160 supporters, and will be delivered to Gosport Borough Council when it reaches 200.
To view the full petition, go to change.org/o/hardway_rag.