THE introduction of a ban on aggressive yobs at a beauty spot has had a major impact on the area, according to residents.
Gosport Borough Council introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Hardway Green last month, after a spate of anti-social behaviour in the area.
Residents spent months campaigning for the ban to be enforced, working together on it since last summer.
The PSPO will be enforced for three years, with anyone refusing to comply with the ban potentially getting a fixeed penalty of up to £100 or a court fine of up to £1,000.
More than a month into the PSPO being brought in, residents say they have seen a major improvement in the area.
Michael Hayward, age 58, said: ‘Since the PSPO was brought in things have been really good.
There have been a couple of motorcyclists going up and down but everyone has been behaving themselves as of late.
‘I’m able to go down to the green myself and feel relaxed down there, which is how it should be.
‘It feels like we have our green back again.
‘We’re also seeing more police around the area which is very reassuring.
‘When I tell people about how things are now they struggle to believe it – the area is just so much quieter.
‘I must say I’m really happy with how things have turned out, and am looking forward to the summer months for the first time in a while.’
One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘My husband and I weren’t subjected to the abuse as badly as some of the other people living around here.
‘That’s not to say we didn’t see anything going on, but we weren’t affected as badly.
‘The issues seemed to come around when it got hot in the summer months.
‘I haven’t noticed any bad behaviour taking place since the PSPO came in, which is really good.
‘You don’t see the bigger groups of people coming down here and causing trouble anymore.
‘It’s great that people aren’t having to see the anti-social stuff that was going on here previously.’
Another resident, who also wished to be unnamed, said: ‘Since it came in I have seen a few bikes come round but nothing serious.
‘In the past I haven’t come down here very often but with how much quieter it is now I can see myself spending a lot more time down here with my dog.’
A spokesman from Hampshire Police says that there have only been a couple of anti-social behaviour incidents since the PSPO came into place.
He said: ‘We are working with Gosport Borough Council and have regular police patrols in the area.
‘There have been seven incidents in the area since the PSPO came in – two of those are from the same incident because there were two victims.
‘Of the seven, two are anti-social behaviour incidents; in one of those it was just information being given, so there’s not a lot of anti-social behaviour being reported to us from the area at the moment.’