A major crackdown has been launched against truants in a Hampshire town.

Police joined forces with schools bosses in the blitz on kids bunking off lessons in Romsey.

With the help of council officials, officers knocked on the doors of known truants and marched them back to the classroom.

Over a number of days 19 youngsters were found skiving lessons, either at home of roaming the streets of the market town.

During the operation officials targeted pupils who regularly missed lessons.

Each day a list of absentees was issued by the schools and visits were made to their homes, where the child and their parents or guardians were spoken to.

If no good reason for the child’s absence was given, the truant was escorted back to school.

Inspector Jackie Willson said: “This initiative was run due to the names of certain individuals frequently coming to the attention of the police and several partner agencies.

“A number were also suspected of being involved in low-level crime and causing antisocial behaviour within their neighbourhoods.”

The inspector said that follow-up visits would be made to the truants’ homes.

She added: “This truancy sweep had a very positive effect in helping to reduce truanting and supporting young people by identifying patterns and reasons for truanting.

“Due to this we plan to run further truancy sweeps at periodic intervals in the future.”