THE owner of a takeaway, which was broken into only last week, says he is “worried” at the recent spate of anti-social behaviour and crime that seems to be engulfing Romsey.

In the past few weeks, a number of break-ins and acts of vandalism have been reported in the town.

There are reports of items being stolen from the churchyard at All Saints Braishfield and, at the weekend, police were forced to issue a dispersal order after hearing concerns about anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

This led to five teenagers being handed notices.

Spice of Romsey in Viney Avenue was burgled in the early hours of Friday April 23 when three men forced entry to the premises by breaking the back door.

They made off with £350 in cash.

Taris Ali, who owns the business, says this is the first time the takeaway has been burgled since it opened in 2001.

But recently, other shops, including the post office next door, have also been targeted.

“I’m very, very worried because this is a peaceful town and the Romsey community is very, very good,” he said.

Talking about the recent spate of crime, Mr Ali says he feels like offenders “will do anything” because they’re likely to get away with it. He says lockdown and quieter streets have given them more opportunities to strike.

Shortly after visiting Mr Ali’s takeaway, officers from Hampshire Constabulary were forced to issue a Section 35 dispersal order to prevent anti-social behaviour.

The dispersal zone covered the town centre, down to Bypass Road and up to Sandy Lane, and was in place until Monday April 26.

One 15-year-old boy was given a dispersal notice after being part of a group causing anti-social behaviour on The Hundred. A further four teenagers, aged between 15 and 17, were given dispersal notices following reports of anti-social behaviour at the Bus Station, Broadwater Road. No arrests were made.

Inspector Chris Taylor said: “Our aim was to offer reassurance and support to our communities, and take enforcement action against those causing trouble in the town centre.

“Our message is clear, anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in Romsey. We will continue to deal with this type of disorder whenever and wherever it occurs and will continue working with our partners to combat this issue in the longer term.

“Please continue to report these incidents to us on 101 or via our website, we value your concerns and every bit of information helps us to direct our resources and provide the best service to our communities.” Anyone with information on the break-in at Spice of Romsey should call 101 quoting crime reference number 44210153670.