BUSINESS and council representatives working with police to address anti-social behaviour in Andover have welcomed news that a new dispersal order has been issued for over the weekend.

As previously reported, police have got an order in place from 2pm this afternoon (Friday, February 11) to 2pm on Sunday (February 13), which allows them to move anyone causing trouble within the town centre out of the vicinity, and to confiscate materials used. 

It comes in response to reports of disturbance from “large groups” last weekend. 

READ MORE: Dispersal Order authorised in Andover Town Centre to tackle anti-social behaviour

Steve Godwin, manager of Andover BID - which represents town centre businesses - told the Advertiser thart the problems have been “happening for several weeks”. 

“When you get large groups of people causing anti-social behaviour, it becomes threatening for the public,” he said. 

“Businesses care about getting customers in, and any anti-social behaviour has a negative impact on business. Because Andover is a low-crime area generally, anything like this has to be stamped on and I am happy that this is actually happening. 

He added: “It’s really encouraging that the police have got this dispersal order and that we are all working in positive collaboration. It’s important to give the message that Andover is not an easy touch area and we will not tolerate it.”

SEE ALSO: TVBC says it ‘takes seriously’ the need to tackle anti-social behaviour in Andover

Test Valley Borough Council's Cllr Iris Andersen, one of the local representatives who has done a lot of work addressing ongoing problems, said: “I think it’s really good that the police have acted so quickly. 

“Obviously they have listened to everybody and I think they have taken the right action.”

She has been joined in her efforts by town councillor Stu Waue, who added: "I'm pleased that there is action being taken to tackle the anti-social behaviour, but there is concern amongst residents that when the dispersal orders are in place, the problem simply moves elsewhere."

Cllr Waue continued: "I would hope that it is helping the police to identify regular offenders and that there is work going on to deal with them. I know there are a lot of people working very hard on this, and I thank them for their efforts, but to truly tackle this problem will require all stakeholders to make the same united stand against anti-social behaviour that myself and Cllr Andersen have taken."

Police have said that tackling anti-social behaviour remains a “top priority” in Andover, and with Inspector Chris Taylor emphasising that “this behaviour is simply not acceptable”. 

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this story. We really appreciate your support.

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from Andover by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page.

Kimberley Barber