A SPECIAL operation targeting anti-social behaviour on a local footpath is to be carried out following the success of a similar operation earlier this year.

Police will target the path, known as Footpath 34, which runs from Forest Road to Inverness Drive in Hainault, near the Power League five-a-side football ground.

Special constables will support officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) on April 9 and 10 between 7.30pm and midnight in a bid to help reduce anti-social behaviour.

Sergeant Chris Chandler, of Fairlop SNT, said: “We've had ongoing reports of anti-social behaviour by youths.

“The peak of that is in the summer months but we're starting early so that we've got work ongoing before it starts to get busy.”

It is believed that although the path has seen genuine anti-social behaviour, part of the problem is youthful high-spiritedness, which can intimidate vulnerable residents.

Sgt Chandler said: “Part of the operation is to educate young people about appropriate standards of behaviour – sometimes, they don't realise how loud they're being.”

He also said the operation was not aimed at discouraging young people from using the five-a-side facilities as it helps to keep them away from anti-social behaviour and other criminal activity.

“Spending Friday and Saturday nights playing football is where we want them to be,” Sgt Chandler said.

“Unacceptable behaviour is an offence and we will deal with it robustly but we want to educate people as well.”

Leaflets will be handed out during the operation, letting residents know what officers are doing and how they can help.