A new taskforce is being assembled to fight anti-social behaviour in Hampshire following a number of incidents of alleged vandalism in Andover.

Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, is launching the taskforce as part of National Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week, which begins today (July 19). According to Hampshire Constabulary data, there were over 37,000 incidents of anti-social behaviour from April 2020-2021, with alcohol, drug and youth incidents the most common.

She said: “Residents and businesses across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have told me that they are concerned about the growing rise of anti-social behaviour (ASB). Vandalism, street drinking, irresponsible driving and other unacceptable behaviours leave people feeling alarmed, harassed or distressed, and ultimately unsafe in their local community.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I take this very seriously and working with partners to tackle ASB will be a priority.”

The new taskforce will be a collaboration with the Police and Crime Commissioner and Hampshire Constabulary, with police district commanders taking a lead role. Local stakeholders and partners will be invited to attend to discuss and tackle specific problems and issues that require action beyond policing alone, with community safety partnerships, local authorities and social landlords among those being invited.

Inspector Humphries, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: “ASB is often downplayed and seen as low level or unimportant but the reality is ASB can cause misery to people’s lives and affect whole communities. This first national ASB awareness week provides an opportunity to highlight local ASB themes, ways of reporting and action being taken like the creation of the new taskforce”.

Anyone who has been a victim of ASB can access support via the Victim Care Service by calling free on 0808 178 1641 or emailing hub.hiow@victimsupport.org.uk