10 Children Held After Newport Trouble

8 January 2019, 09:06 | Updated: 8 January 2019, 09:07


Police on the Isle of Wight have arrested ten children and teenagers after reports of anti-social behaviour around Newport.

They were picked up across the weekend after things were thrown at cars on St James' Street, a shop window was kicked and officers sworn at.

Police have also been carrying out regular patrols in key locations like Church Litten, the bus station and St James' Street as part of Operation Varney.

Hampshire Police said:

'At around 8:50pm on Friday 4 January officers were called to a report of anti-social behaviour on St James' Street. While officers were speaking to those present a teenager kicked the window of the GAME store. A 16 year-old boy from Newport was arrested on suspicion of attempted criminal damage and was subsequently de-arrested, but remains under investigation. He was also served with a dispersal notice. During our attendance a teenager assaulted a police officer. A 16 year old girl from Wroxall was arrested on suspicion of assault and obstructing police and has been released under investigation. The officer was not seriously hurt.

'On Saturday 5 January shortly after 7:30pm a teenager was seen to be shouting and swearing at police officers in Church Litten. A 15 year-old boy from Newport was later arrested on suspicion of assault and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress. He was released without charge, but remains under investigation. 

'Later in the evening we received reports of teenagers being abusive and throwing around items of stock at the Morrisons store on South Street. A number of teenagers were subsequently arrested. They included:
- A 13 year-old boy from Carisbrooke was arrested at around 9:40pm on South Street on suspicion of breaching a section 35 dispersal order. He was released without charge, but remains under investigation.
- A 15 year-old boy from Cowes and a 16 year-old boy from Newport were arrested at around 9:45pm on Scarrots Lane on suspicion of breaching a section 35 dispersal order. They were both released without charge, but remain under investigation.

'At around 6:10pm on Sunday 6 January we received reports of teenagers throwing objects at passing vehicles from a roof on St James' Street. No-one was hurt. Four boys, all aged 12, from Newport, Northwood, and Sandown were arrested on suspicion of causing danger to road users and criminal damage. They have been released from custody without charge, but remain under investigation.'

Inspector Rob Abel said: 

"We have a number of powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and these include: community resolutions, dispersal orders, fixed penalty notices, acceptable behaviour contracts, and criminal behaviour orders.

"However as was demonstrated this weekend, we will take robust action when we need to as anti-social behaviour has a dramatic impact on the wider community in public spaces.

"We consider all options available to us, and will seek to find a solution in the first instance that doesn't necessarily result in a criminal outcome. However, when recurring problems present themselves we are left with fewer options available to us. 

"The far preferable thing is for us to actually approach people and have a conversation, discuss the issues, and ask them to refrain from being anti-social. By resolving the issue at the time it benefits all parties involved. People do need to realise though that we do have specific powers to deal with anti-social behaviour and we will use these if the situation requires it, or if someone is persistently causing a problem.

"We introduced our response to anti-social behaviour in Newport's town centre, Operation Varney, in May 2018. During this time we have increased our patrols in the area and specifically targeted locations in following reports made to us and what the Neighbourhood Policing Team officers have observed. Many of these issues occur in the late afternoon or early evening, so officers make sure that they are in the area to keep an eye on what's happening.

"We've been working closely with partner agencies as part of the Community Safety Partnership to address anti-social behaviour, as this is not always a police matter. We have been reviewing CCTV and Body Worn Video (BWV) footage to enable us to identify those we believe to have been involved. This allows the most appropriate agency to visit the person or, if they are a child, their family to discuss different options available to resolve the issues being caused.

"It's important to remember that anti-social behaviour can be caused by people of all ages, but I would ask parents to speak to their children about what is acceptable, especially if they are meeting friends in Newport's town centre.

"If you see anyone causing a public order issue or anti-social behaviour in the town please call us at the time. Don't think that someone else will report the problem. We need you to report any incidents to us, so that we can build a complete picture of what is happening in the town centre. You can do this by visiting the Hampshire Constabulary website or calling 101".