IN A bid to clamp down on anti-social behaviour in Basingstoke town centre, Hampshire Constabulary has issued a dispersal order to take action over the weekend.

This is the third order issued by officers in as many months in response to continued reports of anti-social behaviour by large groups of young people in the Top of The Town.

The order gives officers the power to disperse people involved in anti-social behaviour out of the town centre area.

Those under 16 will be taken be to their home address, and follow-up work will be done with parents.

Officers will also be able to seize bicycles or anything else deemed to be causing anti-social behaviour.

Sergeant Trevor Taylor, from Basingstoke’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The aim of this order is to improve the quality of life for the whole community, including residents and retailers.

“We know that anti-social behaviour has a negative impact on those visiting the town centre area, and the businesses that operate there.

“The message is simple - we will deal robustly with anyone found to be behaving anti-socially in the town centre.

“People who do so can expect to be asked to leave the area and to have their bikes seized for the duration of the dispersal order.”

Sergeant Taylor added: “Anyone who witnesses such behaviour should report it to us – don’t leave it to someone else to do it for you.

“We would also like to remind parents to be aware of what their children are doing and where they are going.”

The order will last between 3pm on Friday, 8 December to 2pm on Sunday, 10 December.

It will cover an area that includes Market Place and the Top of The Town, Festival Place, The Malls, Basingstoke railway station and Glebe Gardens.

Anyone who witnesses anti-social behaviour or large gatherings of people should call 101. If a crime is in progress, call 999.

Parents or guardians who would like support in dealing with their child’s behaviour or would like to explore diversionary activities can call the Community Safety Team at Safer North Hampshire on 01256 845245.