CRIME is rising in a Hampshire town and anti-social behaviour is the biggest problem, new figures show.

Crime figures from for Fareham for the first three months of 2017 show that 809 crimes were recorded compared with 679 in the same period in 2016.

Around 35 per cent of the crimes are anti-social -behaviour-related in both sets of statistics.

Anti-social behaviour includes nuisance, rowdy or inconsiderate neighbours, vandalism, graffiti and fly-posting, street drinking, littering, prostitution related activity, begging and vagrancy, fireworks misuse and inconsiderate or inappropriate use of vehicles.

To tackle the problem, the council introduced Public Space Protection orders (PSPOs) in December 2016 which make begging, sleeping rough and drinking alcohol outside offences which were liable for on-the-spot fines.

The worst hit area was West Street, which recorded 31 incidents of anti-social behaviour in the first three months of 2016 and 38 in the first quarter of this year.

Fareham Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich said: “There are a number of reasons why this may be the case from people feeling more confident in reporting these incidents to us, to things like warmer weather or the dates of school holidays.

“Anti-social behaviour remains a priority for my teams in Fareham and we have increased patrols in areas where problems have been identified and have engaged with schools and community groups to try to resolve these issues.”

Councillor Trevor Cartwright, cabinet member for public protection, said: “These numbers are not acceptable so we need to keep pressing away to try and tackle the problem particularly in areas where anti-social behaviour is a cause for concern by liaising closely with the police.”

Anybody that is experiencing problems with anti-social behaviour or who has any concerns about any other community issues should call Hampshire Police’s non-emergency line on 101.