Police Granted Power To Disperse Anti-Social Groups – Redditch
Police have been given extra powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in Redditch over the summer months.
An order has been granted which allows officers to move on groups of troublemakers in the Church Hill area.
The direction - known as a dispersal order - will come into effect from 6pm tonight (Friday, 27 July) and will be in place for two months.
The order was granted by the policing commander for north Worcestershire, Superintendent Adrian Pass, in consultation with Redditch Borough Council.
Local officers can apply for a dispersal order where there are grounds to suspect that the presence or behaviour of a group of two or more people in a public place has resulted or is likely to result in members of the public being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed. Failure to comply with such a request may result in an arrest.
It follows a noticeable increase in reports and police observations of anti-social behaviour in Church Hill over the last two months including: shouting, swearing, stone throwing, climbing on roofs, fighting and drunkenness.
Local Policing Sergeant for north east Redditch - Neil Billingham - said: "The type of behaviour seen recently in Church Hill is completely unacceptable and causes heightened levels of anxiety for anyone encountering the groups of young people responsible.
"By utilising the power to disperse groups, we have the opportunity to move people on before anything more serious occurs.
"This will be particularly useful during the school holidays and any periods of fine weather when anti-social behaviour is likely to increase.
"This is the 23rd such order to be used in the north east of Redditch since 2003 and every one to date has succeeded in reducing the number of calls we receive about such behaviour and the number of actual incidents taking place."
Incidents of anti-social behaviour can be reported to West Mercia Police by calling 101. For more information on how the force tackles anti-social behaviour, visit http://www.westmercia.police.uk/anti-social-behaviour.html
- The area concerned in the dispersal order includes most of the Church Hill centre of Redditch but is specifically defined as: the Church Hill shopping centre, the car park at the rear of the Church Hill centre shops, the Y.M.C.A. car park, and the bus lane at the Church Hill centre. Knowle Close, the car park opposite the Church Hill centre accessed from Tanhouse Lane, St Andrews church, and the medical centre. Abbeywood First School, Church Hill Middle School, Mendip House, and the Church Hill community centre together with adjoining land.
- Persons congregating in a group of two or more and causing anti-social behaviour can be directed to disperse and/or leave the locality. Also, between 9.00pm and 6.00am persons reasonably believed to be under the age of 16, and not under the effective control of a parent or responsible adult, can be taken back to their place of residence. It is an offence to fail to comply with a constable's, or a community support officer's direction, and the offender can be arrested for the offence without a warrant.