THE ongoing effort to combat anti-social behaviour at Poole Bus Station has stepped up this week with the closure of two footpaths into the site.

The alleyways were shut off yesterday (April 6) for an initial period of six months.

While a public notice issued by BCP Council said the closures were for "essential maintenance", police have confirmed the action is one of many steps being taken to tackle the "complex issues" at the bus station.

The two footpaths that have been shut off run between between Kingland Road and the service road south of the bus station.

Neighbourhood Inspector Ady Thompson, of Poole police, said: “Poole bus station is an area that Dorset Police and other key multi-agency partners are committed to focusing on to reduce problems.

“A partnership group was established in January 2020 with BCP Council, the Business Improvement District (BID), Morebus, the Youth Offending Service and other key partner agencies to coordinate action across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

“Closing the footpaths, which have been used as gathering points for criminal and anti-social behaviour related activity, is just one of the steps being taken to tackle the complex issues at the bus station.

"The closures are being put in place to safeguard members of the community who use the buses, the bus drivers and staff at local businesses, as well as the children who may put themselves at risk through their behaviour."

As reported by the Daily Echo, Yellow Buses rerouted services so they no longer stopped at the bus station, with company bosses citing the anti-social behaviour problems as the reason for this decision.

Last month, four teenage boys were sentenced in court in connection with an attack on a man at the travel hub.

The victim was chased, kicked, punched and nearly hit by a vehicle after being assaulted by a group of teenagers.

Inspector Thompson said other action being taken at the site includes looking at increasing and improving CCTV and lighting in the underpass and developing a children and young person exploitation meeting to services together to tackle longer term issues.

He added that officers will continue to conduct regular patrols on foot within the area.