Police given new powers to force people to leave Forest beauty spot

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testwood lake
There has been anti-social behaviour and reports of damage at Testwood Lake (picture: Hampshire police)

A SPATE of anti-social behaviour at a Totton beauty spot has seen police given new powers to force people to leave the site.

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Officers from the town’s neighbourhood policing team swooped on Testwood Lake yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon following patrols to address offences reported there, which included damage to property owned by Sea Scouts.

A social media post said a Section 35 dispersal order had been drawn up after people continued to ignore advice from officers.

Under the new powers, they can now force people to leave the area for at least 48 hours, and those found breaching the order are warned they could be arrested and prosecuted.

There were four incidents of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour at Testwood Lakes during daylight hours between 20th May and last Monday.

Boats belonging to the Scouts were taken without permission and vandalised – one of them was sunk. A fence was also damaged.

The Facebook post said: “Officers from Totton NPT have attended Testwood Lakes en masse this afternoon, following regular patrols to target anti-social behaviour at the lakes.

“Despite warnings, people have chosen to ignore advice. Due to the amount of people present and not heeding advice, we have had a Section 35 dispersal order signed up.

“This gives the police power to direct any person/s away from a specified area, for a period of at least 48 hours. Any person found to be breaching this order will face arrest and prosecution.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and increase patrols even more at the lakes.”

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