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Dispersal order granted ahead of Ashbourne's Shrovetide celebrations

Posted on 10th February 2015

Police have been granted a dispersal order to help prevent anti-social behaviour and public order issues ahead of Ashbourne’s Royal Shrovetide football game.

The dispersal order will run in Ashbourne Town Centre from 12noon on Tuesday, February 17 to 8am on Thursday, February 19.

This will cover the areas of Market Place, Buxton Road, St John Street, Park Road, Compton, Dig Street, Sturston Road, Station Street, and Belper Road.

The power enables officers and PCSOs to break up groups of two or more people who they believe could cause trouble and order them to leave the designated area for 24 hours.

Youths under the age of 16 can also be taken home by officers as part of the order.

Officers applied for the Section 34 Dispersal Power in order to minimise any disruption to the public during the annual Shrovetide game.

Sergeant Denis Murphy from the Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “Shrovetide Football is a truly unique occasion and it is one of the things that make this ancient town so distinctive.

“We have worked closely with the Shrovetide Committee for a number of years so that the game can continue to be enjoyed by townspeople and visitors alike.

“As much as this great and cherished tradition is enjoyed by the town, I also want people to know that drink-related violence and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.  

“We want people to have a good time and enjoy the atmosphere, so any signs of unacceptable rowdiness and anti-social behaviour will be robustly challenged and the offenders will be directed to leave the town for up to 48 hours.”

Previously, dispersal orders were targeted at alcohol-related crime, disorder or anti-social behaviour. Now, the new Section 34 Dispersal Power can be used to stop any antisocial behaviour or crime – not just that linked to alcohol.

Children aged 16 or under can be removed to their home address or a place of safety, and anyone moved on under the powers can be prohibited from going back there for a certain period of time.

Anyone who refuses to comply with an order to leave will be committing an offence and could be arrested.

To find out more or to speak with your local policing team, call 101, the non-emergency number for Derbyshire police.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.