Dorset Police have confirmed they are increasing the number of ‘high-visibility’ patrols in the Hardings Park area of Gillingham and near the old football club after a series of complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour by youths.
Neighbourhood Inspector Simon Perry, of North and East Dorset police, said: ‘We are aware of reports of anti-social behaviour in the area of the old football club in Gillingham.
‘We fully understand the distress and upset that this behaviour causes to members of our community and we are committed to tackling the issue.
‘We hope that by carrying out increased targeted patrols in the area we will be able to disrupt the activity and reduce the number of reports in the area.’
The issue was also raised by town councillors and officials at a meeting on Monday night, who said they had been in touch with the town’s Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Nikki Fear.
Former mayor Councillor Barry Von Clemens said: ‘The town clerk and I have spoken to Nikki Fear, the PCSO, with regards to the issues that have been raised on Facebook about Hardings Park. And the police have received a complaint about behaviour at Hardings Park and are taking the relevant action. They are keeping an eye on this area. And the council is keeping a close eye on the situation,’ he told fellow members of the general purposes committee.
Another member of the committee, Councillor Dennis Griffin, also raised the issue of the town’s CCTV cameras, saying that a member of the public had been told they were not working.
Councillor Von Clemens said: ‘I have also been made aware that members of the public thought that the cameras were not working. I’ve also had conversations with the police. There was something about that on Facebook to say that the cameras weren’t working. This was not helpful. The CCTV cameras are working fully.’
The police patrols are expected to take place between 7.30pm and 8pm.
Inspector Perry told the public: ‘If you have any concerns about anti-social behaviour in your area, please speak to one of the team while they are out on patrol. Alternatively, please contact Dorset Police by visiting www.dorset.police.uk, via email [email protected] or by calling 101.’