THE YEAR 2021 was quite a busy one for police officers in Andover.

From enforcing various Covid regulations during lockdown to the usual day-to-day operations, police have had an eventful year.

And there have been plenty of police incidents that we at The Advertiser have reported on that people will remember in years to come.

Here, we look back at eight of the biggest police incidents that Andover has faced this year.

Break-in spree across town

In January, a pair of burglars went on a crime spree in Andover.

Hampshire Constabulary had to issue a witness appeal after several cars were broken into, and items stolen from them.

The crime spree initially began on the evening of January 5, where the perpetrators broke into a number of cars in town. Their break-ins occurred across Andover, including the wards of Harroway, St Mary’s and Millway.

In the latter, the pair of burglars broke into a car and stole a number of personal items, before attempting to steal from the owner’s home in the early hours of January 6. Black tape was found at the scene, which police believe was used to disable the security lights. However, the suspects were unsuccessful at breaking in, and left the property empty-handed.

Cops uncover three drug farms

Police uncovered three illegal cannabis farms on King George Road, May Tree Road and Silver Birch Road and arrested two men.

Andover Advertiser: Inside the property on King George Road. Credit: Hampshire ConstabularyInside the property on King George Road. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

Photographs taken at the scene showed how the houses were hollowed out of all furnishings to make way for enormous plants, estimated to be worth around £250,000. Andover police said the farms of the illegal Class B drug, found on neighbouring streets, were thought to be linked.

Two were arrested during the searches, including a 21-year-old man. A 31-year-old man from Essex was found in the house in Silver Birch Road and was arrested on suspicion of a drug production offence.

Illegal horse race event closes A33 near Micheldever

Hundreds of members of the traveller community descended on the area in May, to take part in an unauthorised horse and trap racing event along the A33 near Micheldever.

Officers from Hampshire Constabulary spent two days policing the event and were forced to close part of the A33, which goes between Basingstoke and Winchester, as a “safety precaution for drivers”.

Andover Advertiser: Pictures from a separate horse and trap event, held on May 1 and May 2Pictures from a separate horse and trap event, held on May 1 and May 2

Despite the event being illegal, police allowed it to continue for two days, facing much criticism from the public for their handling of the situation. They seized three vehicles and arrested one person for drug driving at the event.

Six found in back of lorry

Five men and a woman, all in their twenties, were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences after a lorry was stopped on the A303 in May. They were detained on suspicion of immigration offences after being found in the trailer of a lorry near the Bullington Cross junction of the A303 with the A34.

The individuals were all from Africa, five from Eritrea and one from Ethiopia. The Home Office said the individuals were being dealt with “according to immigration rules”.

Anti-social incidents

Police also had to deal with a range of anti-social incidents in Andover in the past year. This includes a charity in the town being allegedly subjected to a campaign of vandalism and abuse by a gang of youths. Since opening in February at the site of the former Dorothy Perkins store, Andover Clothing Exchange and Baby Bank has seen its windows smashed, doors damaged and employees heckled and verbally assaulted.

In October, a much-loved Andover statue was toppled again in what was described as an “act of mindless vandalism”.

Andover Advertiser: Andover's Millennium Man was toppled again by suspected vandals on Friday night. Photos: Cllr Phil North on Facebook.Andover's Millennium Man was toppled again by suspected vandals on Friday night. Photos: Cllr Phil North on Facebook.

The Millennium Man, which has overlooked the roundabout at the intersection of Weyhill and Salisbury Road since the year 2000, was brought down after being hacked at the ankles.

Teenager attacked near Andover primary school

A teenager was “seriously assaulted” near an Andover primary school in what was described as a “terrifying incident”. Parents and schoolchildren were left shocked after the 14-year-old boy was attacked near to Roman Way Primary School in broad daylight and suffered cuts to his face and neck. The boy required hospital treatment.

Police arrested two Andover men, aged 36 and 40, on Tuesday evening on suspicion of wounding with intent.

Man killed outside Tesco

A man was attacked outside a Tesco store in Andover on July 29. The victim, John William Carroll, 62, was taken to hospital after suffering a severe head injury, but he succumbed to the injuries on August 10.

Andover Advertiser: John William CarrollJohn William Carroll

The assault happened outside the River Way Tesco Extra store at around 9.18pm.

Four Andover residents were arrested in connection with the incident.

Among them, Shane Richard Donovan was remanded in custody following a court hearing. An 18-year-old man, a 28-year-old man, and a 36-year-old woman, all from Andover, were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Six attempted robberies within 35 minutes

Police began an investigation after there were a total of six robberies or attempted robberies in the town centre area within a 35-minute period on one night in November. In one incident, a 16-yearold boy was robbed of his airpods and jacket at knifepoint near the BP garage on New Street at 7.45pm.

At around 8.20pm, police received further calls of three robberies and two attempted robberies in Vigo Park. A 23-year-old man reported an attempted robbery against him and another 22-year-old man. They were approached and threatened, however nothing was stolen. Also, police said a 19-yearold man had his mobile phone stolen and that two 15-year-old boys reported being the victim of a robbery. Two mobile phones and airpods were stolen.