POLICE forces in Stroud and Dursley have launched an operation to combat anti-social behaviour.

Operation Focus, which launched on Friday, May 2 and will run throughout the months of May, June, July and August, forms part of the local policing teams’ commitment to tackling one of the issues that matter most to the community.

The operation will be run by special constables, police officers and police community support officers from the Dursley and Stroud neighbourhood policing teams.

Assistant area officer Steve Lindsay said: “We know from listening to residents that anti-social behaviour and drink related crime during the summer months are a significant concern for local people and we are therefore running this additional operation, alongside the work the local policing team already do.”

The operation has three main elements - enforcement, awareness and education.

The enforcement side of the campaign includes officers targeting persistent offenders and suspects who cause anti social behaviour in the communities.

The educational side will involve officers screening a DVD called ‘Damage Done…it doesn’t just happen’, in the mobile police station.

It is aimed at 12 to 17-year-olds and aims to ‘bring to life’ the profoundly negative physical and emotional effects that a range of anti-social behaviour can have on local communities and individuals.

Four scenarios are used in the DVD – underage drinking, arson, graffiti and criminal damage – and the messages are supported by a range of other resources such as downloadable teaching notes for schools, posters and an accompanying booklet.

Chief inspector Andy Poole said: “It is essential that those engaged in anti social activities are challenged regarding their behaviour.

“We will offer an educational route to those who are receptive and respond to incidents for which it is proportionate to do so, however, for those not willing to engage with this process, a formal prosecution is to be expected."