POLICE have launched dedicated patrols in Thornbury to tackle issues related to anti-social behaviour in the town.

This action follows a series of incidents in recent months, with a number of problems being caused by groups of young people, including damage to public and private property, trespassing, littering, and anti-social and even violent behaviour.

Neighbourhood inspector Clive Summerill said: “Neighbourhood officers have been working to tackle isolated incidents of anti-social behaviour in a number of locations in Thornbury for several months.

“Over the summer reports have increased and the team is currently being supported in carrying out extra patrols by officers from other beats.

“We have identified around a dozen boys and girls aged 15 and 16 who have been involved in ASB or found in an area where problems have been reported.

“We’re writing to the parents and carers of these young people, and will also be working with schools and youth organisations to raise awareness of the consequences of getting involved in this sort of behaviour.

“Where we have evidence of criminal offences we will be taking positive action which could include prosecution.”

Over the weekend, from Friday, September 8, to Sunday, September 10, a team of six officers and PCSOs ran dedicated ASB patrols in Thornbury, speaking with residents and young people.

During the patrols, they responded to reports of around 20 teens drinking alcohol on the grounds of Castle School on Friday night, with the group fleeing upon seeing the officers.

On Saturday, at around 10.15pm, officers were called to reports of a disruptive house party in Dovedale, finding the property with the door open, loud music playing and a number of people outside the front of the house.

Officers approached in order to ask for the music to be turned down and some consideration shown to the neighbours, but were denied access to the property.

The householders, who were not home at the time, were contacted by police, who returned and asked the people to leave.

Insp Summerill added: “It’s important to remember that the majority of young people do not get involved in ASB. Of course they should be able to spend time with their friends in public places, just like the rest of us.

“We need everyone to help Thornbury remain a great place to live and work. If you witness or are affected by ASB it’s important to report it to us or to South Gloucestershire Council's ASB Team, it helps us target our patrols and resources where they’re needed most.

“If you’re a parent or carer, keep your children safe by knowing where they are and what they are up to. Drinking alcohol underage can lead to an increased risk of accident, injury, or even becoming a victim of crime themselves.

“If they’re involved in offences such as criminal damage it could affect their future career prospects and even travel plans.”

Anyone with evidence which could help identify those responsible for causing problems are asked to contact police, either by visiting www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact, or by calling 101.

South Gloucestershire Council’s ASB team can be contacted by calling 01454 868582 or e-mailing asbreporting@southglos.gov.uk.

Information can also be given anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.