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Police vow to tackle antisocial behaviour at Testwood Lakes nature reserve

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POLICE in Totton have vowed to crack down on antisocial behaviour at a local nature reserve and are urging the public to report incidents.

A meeting was held last week to discuss the issues at Testwood Lakes between Totton police and local organisations including the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Trust, which runs the site off Brunel Road in Calmore.

Also attending were representatives from 4th Eling Sea Scouts, which has its headquarters at the lakes, as well as staff from New Forest District Council and local schools.

The lakes are used by local Sea Scouts and sailing charity Sailability
The lakes are used by local Sea Scouts and sailing charity Sailability

A spokesperson for Totton police said: “It was good to join forces to discuss some of the issues we and the wildlife trust have had to deal with this year and put some plans in place to work with those present in a united front.

“This is to try and tackle the ongoing issues at Testwood Lakes. Since the beginning of May there have been 17 incidents ranging from antisocial behaviour, public order and assault.

“These incidents have included youths from the local and surrounding areas, as well as families that attend the lakes.”

The spokesperson added: “We are in the process of trying to resolve issues, however, we need the public to be vigilant when at the lakes and report any anti-social behaviour. We want everyone to enjoy the lakes.”

As reported in the A&T, in 2020 officers drew up a Section 35 dispersal order after trouble at the site, which included boats owned by Sea Scouts being taken and one of them sunk.

The powers enable officers to compel people to leave the area for at least 48 hours, warning that those breaching the order could be arrested and prosecuted.

Earlier the same year the trust was forced to lock its gates to prevent vehicle access after a wave of vandalism, littering and threats to staff.

Last year Testwood Lakes Sailability, which helps people with disabilities and learning difficulties to enjoy the water, was targeted by vandals who damaged special access paths.

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