POLICE have been granted special powers following a spate of complaints about anti-social behaviour in the Waterside area.

Officers have been granted a Dispersal Order, which enables them to disperse groups and seize items from suspected troublemakers. Youngsters under the age of 16 can be escorted home.

It follows several complaints about rowdy behaviour in the Waterside area, which includes Hythe, Marchwood and Blackfield.

A post on the Waterside Cops Facebook page says: "Following on from anti-social behaviour issues and an arrest last night due to drugs offences, a Dispersal Order has been signed up in the Waterside Area.

"Ignoring the direction of officers could result in arrests taking place."

The post says a group of people were seen in the area yesterday evening. They were advised what was in place and "respectfully left the area".

"Patrols will be continuing to all of the hot spot areas throughout the week."