ALLEYWAYS at Poole Bus Station are being boarded by authorities as they continue to look for ways to tackle crime issues at the anti-social behaviour hotspot.

Paths that cut through to the transport hub are being blocked off with hoardings.

Police say these areas have been used as gathering points for criminal activity.

As reported, some alleys at the bus station were closed off for an initial six-month period earlier this year and now the measure has gone one step further with them being physically boarded off.

Neighbourhood Inspector Ady Thompson, of Poole Police, said: “Poole bus station is an area that Dorset Police and other key multi-agency partners are continuing to focus on to prevent further issues with anti-social behaviour.

“A partnership group was established in January 2020 with BCP Council, the Business Improvement District, 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.”

Various criminal issues have continued to blight the bus station, including incidents of assaults, abuse and drug offences.

In February, Yellow Buses decided to reroute their services to not serve the hub, citing anti-social behaviour problems as the reason for this decision.

Inspector Thompson said other action being looked at included increasing and improving CCTV and lighting in the underpass, developing a children and young person exploitation meeting to bring health, social care, education and youth services together to tackle longer term issues and the use of Community Safety Accreditation Scheme officers.

He added: “We will continue to conduct regular patrols on foot within the area and local officers can be approached by anyone with concerns.”

Councillor Vikki Slade, BCP Council leader, said: “Keeping people safe in our local communities is a top priority.

“As such we’ve been working closely with Dorset Police to find appropriate solutions to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour and crime around Poole Bus station. This includes the temporary closure of the adjoining alleyways and we hope this will assist the Police with reducing crime.

“We will continue to take appropriate and proportional action in collaboration with our community partners.”