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Council holds secrets talks on police's response to vandalism and anti-social behaviour plaguing New Milton

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TOWN council discussions about a police report on anti-social behaviour in New Milton were held behind closed doors.

The public and press were excluded by mayor Cllr Keith Craze from hearing feedback at Monday’s full council meeting on how officers are combating issues plaguing the area.

New Milton Residents’ Association chairman Alan Watson said: “I find it somewhat strange that a report from the police should be in private session.”

The muga has been repeatedly vandalised
The muga has been repeatedly vandalised

Having heard Cllr Craze’s insistence that there was nothing “strange” or “underhand” about the matter, Cllr Alvin Reid questioned why it could not be heard in public.

But the mayor responded: “This is feedback from the police which I’d rather is not heard in public at the moment.”

Asked by the A&T afterwards to explain the grounds behind the move, town clerk Graham Flexman said this followed police advice.

This stated: “There are things going on behind the scenes which would be compromised if they were to become common knowledge.”

As reported in the A&T, the town council said increased vandalism and anti-social behaviour has cost at least £50,000 in taxpayer’s money during the past year.

Stressing local youngsters were not solely to blame, councillors had welcomed a multi-agency campaign to tackle the issue, including police and New Forest District Council, and youth charity ASBOC (Anti-Social Branded Outcast Committee).

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