POLICE are clearing teenagers off Hove Lawns after “pockets” of violence broke out during a large gathering of youths.

Officers have now issued a dispersal order for the green near Grand Avenue after fighting was reported among a massive gathering of teenagers on Hove seafront.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said they were called to the scene at 8.40pm.

One eyewitness described how the youths began chanting at officers when they arrived. 


The Argus:

He said: “There are ten police cars and all the kids are walking around shouting at police – it’s like football chants. 

“All the police have pulled up and are walking along trying to get them to move.”

Another added: "It was like a stand-off between hundreds of youths and police. Apparently they would have finished GCSEs today and have their end of year prom."

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A resident in a nearby house described the situation as "pure mayhem".

Ten police cars including two vans have parked on A259 near the Queen Victoria statue. 

Video from the scene shows the moment the teenagers sang songs at police when they arrived. 

The spokesman for the force said a dispersal order has now been issued.

The Argus:

The powers were introduced in the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 and provide the police with the extra powers to break up groups of two or more people, where they believe their behaviour is causing a nuisance, harassment or distress. 

The video below captured the moment the youths were moved on from the area by Sussex Police officers. 

Councillor Chris Henry said: “Let’s not leave our young people behind in the Covid recovery plans. 

“It’s understandable that they’re bored and missing their friends, so we need to ensure their safety and develop activities for young adults so that police and the local community can focus on real crime and staying safe from Covid. 

“Hove Lawns tonight shows how badly solutions for young people are needed and how youth services are needed more than ever.”