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Consultation on anti-social behaviour ban at Hardway

People in Gosport are being asked for their views on a new order banning anti-social behaviour at Hardway memorial green. 

Nearby residents have complained that some young people have been causing problems on the green – a popular public area with a slipway, benches and a memorial to the D-Day landings. 

They say the behaviour has included using obscene language, riding motorbikes, littering, damaging property, intimidation, verbal abuse, drinking, cannabis smoking and even assault. 

Hardway Residents Action Group produced a 360-signature petition calling for action by Gosport Borough Council. The group also carried out a survey of 51 residents, 88% of whom said they had experienced anti-social behaviour in Hardway in the last 12 months. 

And at a public meeting last month, local residents told the council's deputy chief executive of their experiences of problems with youths on the green. 

Hardway councillor Roger Allen also spoke on behalf of local residents at a meeting of the council's Community Board, expressing their views and outlining their concerns.
In response, the council is seeking views on a proposed public spaces protection order (PSPO). 

This would be in force from April to October. It would ban gatherings causing harassment, alarm or distress to member of the public, and give police or council officers the power to exclude people from the area for 12 hours.

Anyone refusing to comply could get a fixed penalty of up to £100 or a court fine of up to £1,000.

Cllr Graham Burgess, Chairman of the council's Community Board, said: "The very clear message from Hardway residents is that they are suffering at the hands of a small minority of young people.

"The PSPO would give us, and the police, another tool to use in tacking this kind of behaviour. But first we need to see what residents think of the proposal."

The consultation on the proposal will run from 2 February to 2 March. To have their say, residents can fill in a short survey. Or they can pick up a printed copy from the Town Hall.

Councillors will make a final decision on the proposal on 7 March. If they give the go-ahead, the PSPO could be in force from 13 April.

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