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Police use headcams to crack down on antisocial behaviour
POLICE in Amesbury are using headcams to film young people who commit crime, and showing the footage to their parents and schools.
The move is part of a crackdown on antisocial behaviour in the town, which has been an increasing problem in recent weeks.
Groups of up to 20 teenagers are gathering in parts of Amesbury, leading to an increase in reports of nuisance behaviour.
Inspector Christian Lange said the small cameras attached to officers’ helmets would be used to film offenders in the act, particularly in the weeks around Halloween. “These large groups of young people can appear very threatening and intimidating,” he told an Amesbury town council meeting last Tuesday.
“We have particularly seen a problem outside the Co-op in Boscombe Down where large numbers of teenagers are gathering in the evenings.
“We are going to make this our priority.”
Headcams have been used in other parts of Wiltshire, including Salisbury, as a deterrent for antisocial behaviour and Insp Lange hopes they will be equally successful in Amesbury. “Police officers and PSCOs will wear headcams while they patrol in and around Amesbury, Durrington and other areas which have been identified as problem areas for antisocial behaviour,” he said.
“We have issued a warning to potential troublemakers saying that if anyone does engage in antisocial behaviour they are likely to be captured on film.
“We may show the film to the relevant parents and schools so that we can work together to improve behaviour in the future.”
Earlier this year Amesbury police officers began picking up truants from their homes and driving them to school.
Inspector Lange also told councillors there had also been problems with boy racers in the Tesco car park during the evenings.
“Ninety per cent of the young people we are dealing with are nice young people and they just want somewhere to chat and hang out with their friends,” he said.
“The problem is if we move them on, where do they go?
“We want to arrange a meeting so we can talk to these young people about what they would like to see in the town.
“We need to work together to solve this.”