PARENTS who allow their children to run havoc late at night on an Aldershot estate may be faced with eviction.
That is the warning from Heron Wood ward councillor Mike Roberts as police prepare to crack down on troublemakers on the Tices Meadow estate.
Operation Burnage, which is due to be launched today, aims to target juvenile crime, with officers stopping all youngsters found in the area late at night.
Letters will be sent home to parents, who will be asked why their child is not at home.
The operation has been organised in response to complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour and petty crime, which has increased since the beginning of the school holidays.
The scheme has received the full backing of Cllr Roberts, who strongly believes that parents have a direct responsibility for their children.
He said: "The community at large can only do so much.
"The buck stops with the parents who are allowing their kids to go out and about late at night.
"We have highlighted those youngsters involved in activities such as vandalism and graffiti, some of whom are persistent offenders."
Cllr Roberts outlined the tough stance adopted by the authorities, saying that possession orders have been used in other areas with a good degree of success.
"There is no good reason why parents should not know what their kids are doing, and this is the ultimate sanction. We are sending out a message that if youngsters are found causing trouble, then other actions will follow."
Sgt Paul Diamond from Aldershot police said that although the majority of children are well behaved, they can get caught up in situations when they are out alone.
"We want parents to be aware that we are doing this. We do not want to be arresting youngsters who do not generally offend, and ruin their whole lives. But there is a problem that needs to be dealt with."
Pavilion Housing Association has also pledged its support to the scheme. However, Mike Swaddling, spokesman for Pavilion, stressed that a possession order would only be pursued as a last resort.
He said: "As Mr Roberts says, this is the ultimate sanction, and there are many other solutions besides. Obviously if any problems persisted we would hope to talk with tenants and try to resolve the situation amicably.
"A possession order is a long process which goes through the courts and may end with the eviction of tenants."