Police aim to beat anti-social behaviour

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A dispersal order allowing police to break up groups of two or more people causing trouble in Netherfield will come into operation on May 7.

The order will authorise police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to move groups of people away from the designated area and order them not to return within a 24-hour period.

Officers will also be able to return home or take to a suitable place of safety anyone under the age of 16 found within the designated area between 9pm and 6am unsupervised by an appropriate adult and behaving in an anti-social manner.

The introduction of the dispersal order is in response to large groups of individuals on the estates, who are congregating around the local shops and play areas.

Insp Colleen Lavery leads the neighbourhood team in Netherfield.

She said: “We have introduced this dispersal order to combat the large groups of people we have had congregating around local shops and play areas and behaving anti-socially.

“Residents, shoppers, and business owners have complained about the problem and this will enable us to target the small minority of individuals who cause problems.

“We have taken the step of introducing the order following extensive consultation with residents, businesses, and partner agencies and further work will continue throughout the dispersal order period with partners.

“The legislation will allow us to deal robustly with those responsible and deter those who are on the periphery of the activity. In doing so, we can focus on making sure Netherfield remains a pleasant place to be this summer.

“We are also talking with our partner agencies and are putting the building blocks in place to strengthen the community.”

Anyone with information they feel is relevant to the dispersal order can contact police via the Police Enquiry Centre on 0845 8 505 505. If they don’t want to speak to an officer they can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The order will come into force on 7 May and will last until 7 August 2012, enabling officers to give directions to groups to disperse and even to attach conditions to dispersal directions to ensure their efficiency.

Posters have been placed in the areas affected advising people of the order and what it means to them.