ANDOVER'S street wardens are now up to their full strength and have been on patrol on some town estates for three months.

Cllr Marion Kerley, the portfolio holder for social wellbeing on Test Valley Borough Council, says the wardens have already played an important role in improving the environment and neighbourhoods as well as tackling crime.

Wardens have reported abandoned vehicles and shopping trolleys, reported fly-tipping, vandalism and graffiti and arranged for clearance of dangerous litter from play areas.

"Both sets of wardens have worked hard with groups of young people to encourage them not to drop litter and to care for the open spaces," said Mrs Kerley.

"This has worked especially around the skate parks.

"An important area of the work is reassurance by patrol communication.

"The wardens have made contact with vulnerable residents, community groups and the youth service to encourage positive behaviours and activities and getting youngsters to take responsibility for their actions."

Their action against crime has ranged from deterring drug dealing to stopping anti-social behaviour by stopping youths kicking a ball against a pensioner's wall.

The wardens record their work on a daily activity sheet.

They are managed by neighbourhood warden manager David Smith and during an intensive three-week course received training from the police, fire service, Red Cross, the Suzy Lamplaugh Trust, Victim Support, social services and other voluntary organisations.