AN ANDOVER councillor has said that residents are “very frightened” after it was revealed that the Basingstoke Street Gang is thought to be operating in the town.

In December Chief Inspector of Test Valley Police, Korey Thorne, told members of Andover Town Council that officers are working with the force’s investigations team, and have reason to believe that members of the teenage gang - which was placed under an injunction order in March - have been travelling to Andover.

Cllr Iris Andersen (TVVBC, St Mary’s) is one of the local representatives who has been working with police to help address recent incidents of anti-social behavior in the area.

Reacting to the news, she told the Advertiser: “People are very very frightened, they are asking me lots of questions.”

Alongside Cllr Andersen, Cllr Stu Waue has been addressing the issue, and previously told this newspaper that schools will play an important role in early intervention, by identifying when bullying behaviour may become something even more serious, and potentially criminal.

He said: “I think that the schools have an invaluable part to play in preventing youth crime. Many young criminals won't have just been well behaved one day and knife wielding thugs the next - it's the result of escalation, and many will have started out as bullies.”

Referencing this solution, Cllr Andersen added: “TVBC has been doing work with the schools, and I can speak highly of this because my grandson was bullied at school and it’s an ongoing issue that is being addressed. But we have got to think of all generations when it comes to this.”

She continued: “It is concerning, but I do not want people to be frightened. I think a lot of people get worried about phoning 101, but there are also anonymous ways to report things. And if you know things, you really have got to report it, because the police go on how many times things have happened, so that will improve response and hopefully reduce the fear.

“So it’s really essential to get the message across that we must report.”