POLICE are to be carrying out extra patrols in Southampton after reports large groups of people behaving antisocially.

Officers have confirmed that they will be carrying out extra patrols in the St Mary's area to help tackle the issue of antisocial behaviour.

It comes after a dispersal order was enforced in the area staring on Saturday, June 13, as part of a clamp-down to reduce anti-social behaviour and associated crime.

The order covered an area that includes St Matthew’s Close, St Mary’s Street, Golden Grove, Kingsland Estate and Houndwell Park.

It was put in place over the weekend and expired on Monday, June 15, at 8.30pm.

The order gives officers the power to disperse people under Section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, they can also seize any items used in the commission of anti-social behaviour.

Those under 16-years-old will be taken be to their home address, and follow-up work will be done with parents.

On Sunday, 14 June, one person was issued with a dispersal order and asked to leave the area.

Now police have partnered with Southampton City Council to tackle the crime in the area.

Police Sergeant Jo Nelson said “We know that anti-social behaviour has big impact on those living and working in the St Mary’s area and we put in place a dispersal order to reduce the issue and improve the quality of life of the whole community.

“Police and Southampton City Council are working in partnership to tackle these issues. This recurring challenge is an issue that can’t be solved by one agency alone.

“Our officers will be carrying out extra patrols in the area this week to engage with the community and keep the public safe. If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to speak to our officers.

“I would like to thank all those people who have reported incidents to us and assure you that the safety of all our communities is a priority to us.”

Councillor David Shields, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities added: “We need to support our local residents and businesses in the St Mary’s area more than ever during this difficult period and we look to our police to take the necessary enforcement and protection measures.

"This has to be handled sensitively and I’m confident in the local neighbourhood team’s ability to do this.”