The crime and policing minister has praised the launch of an anti-social taskforce in Hampshire ahead of plans to roll them out across the country.

Last week, county police and crime commissioner Donna Jones launched the body to bring together different groups to tackle the root causes of such behaviour. Under the Beating Crime Plan, similar groups will be introduced across the country.

“The key is not just catching people who do these crimes, it’s preventing them in the first place by being smart and having enough deterrents in place,” Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse said. “We’re going to work together with local police and crime commissioners to put together anti-social behaviour taskforces in areas most affected.

“We think putting that together with police resources will make a big difference on getting ahead of these things and problem solving.”

The MP told the Gazette that parts of the plan, such as the taskforce plan, are already in action.

“We’ve not been waiting for the plan, we’ve been running it in advance,” he said. I’m very focused on the mission and very glad to be part of the operational side and making things happen out there on the street, making things safer in a really practical way”.

It comes as part of wider proposals to reform policing and dealing with crime in the UK, announced yesterday (July 27). A number of proposals to make the police ‘more accessible’ and ‘more visible’ are included in the Beating Crime Plan.

"Our neighbourhoods in Hampshire will get a decent chunk of the 20,000 new police officers on the street, they will be out there and visible, and we’re almost half way through our recruitment target,” Kit said.

"I want all of us to be able to contact our local officers and know their names. They know our communities inside out and are best placed to deal with persistent crime and anti-social behaviour.”