A TEENAGE street gang based in Basingstoke is believed to be operating in Andover, police have revealed.

The chief inspector of Test Valley Police told Andover councillors last week that he is working with Hampshire Constabulary’s Basingstoke investigation unit, and has reason to believe some of the group’s 15 members - who are banned from contact with one another following an injunction order imposed in March this year - have been travelling to Andover.

At a meeting of Andover Town Council on December 15, police chiefs were invited along to discuss crime in the town in light of recent anti-social behaviour issues.

As previously reported, in November, a boy was threatened with a knife at the underpass at Vigo roundabout. He said around ten teenage boys threatened him with a knife and hit and kicked him on the ground.

Just two weeks later, six robbery incidents, believed by police to be connected to each other, occurred within a 35-minute period, with one involving a teenager being held at knifepoint.

These incidents came alongside other reports of anti-social behaviour, including vandalism, within Andover.

Chief Inspector Korey Thorne said: “I know there have been a couple of incidents recently which have raised some concerns, a couple involving knives in particular.

“One was a gang of youths, and the following weekend there was a series of burglaries.”

He continued: “We have been able to determine that the group of youths were Andover individuals. We have talked to the person who had a knife and the case papers will be passed to the youth offending team to make a decision on action.

“However, the six robberies in one night, three are from Basingstoke and three were from Eastleigh. Only four were actually robberies.

“We are working with the Basingstoke investigation team, because there is a gang in Basingstoke called the Basingstoke Street Gang and we believe they have come across to Andover. We are looking at extending, if possible, the injunction against them to cover Andover.”

Ch Insp Thorne explained that, while crime was up year-on-year due to dipped levels during lockdowns last year, “the actual crime recorded figures stayed pretty stable over the last few months”.

In September, 367 crimes were recorded in Andover. The figure was 412 in October and in November it was 398.

However, he said that the situation with anti-social behaviour is not as severe as it may have appeared.

He added: “Suggestions of large swathes of youths carrying knives across Andover is unfounded as far as we are concerned.

“I know there are concerns about anti-social behaviour across Andover, but when you start to break down the types of cases being reported to us, it’s not a picture that there are hundreds of youths running around Andover causing anti-social behaviour.”

The ten teenage and five adult members of the Basingstoke Street Gang were first brought before Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court in March.

They were banned from any contact with one another after involvement in the “very real problem” of gang activity.