POLICE in Poole have developed an action plan to tackle anti-social behaviour by youths as certain areas of the town have been plagued by persistent trouble.

Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) explained how their ‘consequences’ scheme is helping to prevent young people from being drawn into bad behaviour. The ten-pronged strategy was officially implemented around six weeks ago, and it is hoped the steps taken by police will reduce the issues experienced, particularly during the school summer holidays.

Last summer, there was a spike of anti-social behaviour in places like Canford Heath, where large groups of youths caused misery for residents.

Poole bus station has also been identified as a hotspot area. Earlier this month three young girls appeared before a youth court and were ordered to stay away from the station due to their behaviour.

Sergeant Guy Nicholas, of Poole NPT, explained some of the ways he and his team have been tackling anti-social youths.

He said officers were going out on patrol in several hotspot areas – including Canford Heath, Poole bus station, and Tower Park – at the core times when anti-social behaviour occurs.

More home visits are being made to the parents or carers of young offenders, and repeat visits to victims of anti-social behaviour are being made.

Sgt Nicholas is also encouraging members of the community to report incidents so officers can take action.

He said: “The consequences scheme is solely to do with anti-social behaviour. I’m very much about putting it back onto the parents to take that responsibility by asking them ‘where are your children? Are they where they say they are?’

“Over a period of time they go through a stage of consequences that could end up in an Acceptable Behaviour Contract. If they breach that then we start to look at injunctions, which excludes them from certain areas or gives them a curfew. Poole has been quite successful in those and that’s started to pay dividends.”

He added: “I don’t want younger people to be influenced by peer groups, so I’m looking at tackling that outer ring of people and taking away that audience.”

Poole’s neighbourhood inspector, Adrian Thompson, said there was a perception in the community that anti-social behaviour is increasing, but this is not the reality.

“We are aware of an issue, but it’s not quite on the scale that people think it is. It’s a very small amount of kids that are being really anti-social, and there’s a group on the periphery that then sees them as the group to follow. If we can take the audience away, the behaviour will go away with it.”

“Although we have these blips, for example Canford Heath last summer, generally anti-social behaviour in Poole has been on the decline for quite a while.

“The perception might be that it’s on the up and that’s something we need to change. We are aware of what’s going on and are tackling it, and it’s having a positive impact.”

Youths 'threw stones at woman and her baby'

IT was all quiet on the Western front while out on patrol with police from Poole’s Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Sergeant Guy Nicholas and PC Steve Donaldson invited the Daily Echo to join them while they carried out checks of hotspot areas for anti-social behaviour – Poole bus station and Canford Heath.

An increased police presence has been helping alleviate issues caused by youths, Sgt Nicholas and PC Donaldson said.

However, outside Asda in Canford Heath a woman approached the officers to report that a group of young people had thrown stones at her and her baby a week ago while she was walking through a subway. It was not the first time youths had caused her trouble, she said.

Afterwards, PC Donaldson said anyone affected by anti-social behaviour should always report incidents as soon as possible so police can gather enough information to take action.