A POLICE operation aimed at driving down anti-social behaviour has been launched in Dorset, as the force prepares for an increase this summer.

Operation Relentless, which aims to remind residents and visitors anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in the county, has today been launched by Dorset Police.

Overall reports of anti-social behaviour have fallen in Dorset over the last two years, however, it traditionally increases over the summer months.

Examples of anti-social behaviour include abandoned vehicles, graffiti and flyposting, damage to public property, rubbish and fly-tipping and excessive noise.

Superintendent Alan Setchell, anti-social behaviour lead at Dorset Police said: "We know from speaking to our communities and from public surveys that anti-social behaviour is an ongoing issue and remains a real concern to residents and businesses.

"Anti-social behaviour is a very visible form of disruption in our communities and is closely linked to how safe people feel. When it is persistent it can have a significant impact on people’s lives.

"The force has a number of operations already underway to tackle anti-social behaviour in hotspot areas across the county. Operation Relentless has been introduced to allow us to provide a clear and consistent message that we take reports of anti-social behaviour seriously and it is not acceptable.

"We want to empower our communities to help us fight this issue and take the anti away from anti-social by reporting incidents of anti-social behaviour involving loud, abusive, rowdy or intimidating alcohol-related behaviour, drug misuse and intimidating gangs of people to Dorset Police.

"We know that there is not one simple solution to all the issues anti-social behaviour can cause. Each policing area throughout Dorset has its own dedicated plan to tackle such activity and officers continue to work closely with the respective local authority to identify and reduce incidents.

"This year we have strengthened our links with partners even further by working directly alongside them in newly set up Multi Agency Command Centre in Bournemouth that co-ordinates summer resilience staff to hotspot areas across the BCP area and in Dorset county."

The launch of Operation Relentless coincides with the UK's first anti-social behaviour awareness week, which runs from 19 July to 25 July.

David Sidwick, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, has prioritised anti-social behaviour as an area he wants to tackle most.

He said: "Tackling anti-social behaviour is a major priority of mine and I’m glad to see the Force is launching a major campaign to robustly deal with this issue within my first 100 days in the role.

"I’ve spoken to so many people across the county who have told me how their lives have been ruined by persistent nuisance, and dealing with these problems will be a major theme of my police and crime plan, which I will be launching in the autumn.

"It’s also important people realise that many anti-social behaviour problems are the responsibility of different agencies such as local authorities, with a survey by my office last year revealing a great deal of confusion over who was responsible for what.

"I’ll be working with all of these agencies to make sure we get this message across more clearly, but in the meantime I’d encourage everyone to visit the Dorset Police’s ASK NED pages online where they can get more information."