Hampshire Incidents

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Andover officers use dispersal powers as part of Operation Scrooge

A dispersal order has been issued in Andover in response to anti-social behaviour in the area. 

This comes as part of Operation Scrooge, a campaign to target shoplifters and ASB in the Test Valley district in the run up to Christmas.

The order will cover the area pictured and comes into force at 5pm today (Friday 10 December), and will run until 5pm on Sunday 12 December.

While police teams have been conducting extra patrols in the area as part of Operation Scrooge, they are now also making use of a Section 34 dispersal order.

Police are using the dispersal tool as a means to deal with this rise in anti-social behaviour, while supporting the local residents in line with our commitment to keeping our communities safe and ensure Andover remains a safe place to live.

The dispersal order gives our officers the power to order a person to leave the area for a 48 hour period with no return. Refusal to comply with the order is a criminal offence.

Those under 16 will be taken be to their home address, or place of safety, and follow-up work will be done with parents.

Inspector Chris Taylor said: “We know that anti-social behaviour can have a negative impact on the lives of those who live and work in our community.

“While we have ensured extra patrols in hot-spot areas, we also feel that making use of these powers to disperse groups of people will help us to further tackle this issue.

“Last weekend officers used these dispersal powers and we saw a reduction in reports of anti-social behaviour in the targeted area. We hope to continue this over the coming weekend.”

Anyone who witnesses ASB should call 101 or report it to police online at www.hampshire.police.uk. If a crime is in progress, phone 999.