Posted on 26th January 2011
Police have been granted a dispersal order to tackle anti-social behaviour among young people in Pilsley.
It gives officers and PCSOs the power to break up groups of two or more people they believe could go on to cause trouble and order them to leave a designated area for 24 hours.
Youths under the age of 16 can be taken home by officers as part of the order.
The order, which will come into effect on Monday January 31, was a result of local residents and business owners raising concerns about ongoing incidents of anti-social behaviour including the use of abusive language, criminal damage and acting in a threatening or intimidating manner.
Officers from the South Eastern Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) brought these concerns to a partnership meeting that was attended by parish and district councillers, senior police officers, the Youth Service and Rykneld Homes.
They all agreed to the application for a dispersal order and the adoption of a number of strategies to deal with the problem. These include increased foot patrols at night by the SNT officers, inputs to children in the local schools and diversionary activities with the Youth Service.
Sgt Sally Blaiklock who is in charge of the Clay Cross area Safer Neighbourhood Teams, said: "After consulting with the public and working with partnership agencies regarding local community issues, it was decided that we had to take further action in order to support the local community of Pilsley.
"This type of legislation allows us to actively target and remove potential troublemakers from the area quickly and effectively.
"We hope this goes a long way to showing the public that their views and concerns are taken very seriously and that anti-social behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated under any circumstances."
Posters and leaflets about the dispersal order, along with a map showing the exclusion area, are being handed out to local residents and young people.
Under the order, if a police officer or police community support officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the presence or behaviour of a group of two or more people within the zone has resulted or is likely to result in any members of the public being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed, they have the power to do the following:
• Tell the group to leave the area (either immediately or at a stated time and in a stated way)
• Tell people who don’t live in the area to leave (either immediately or at a stated time and in a stated way)
• Tell people who don’t live in the area not to return to the area or any part of it for such period (not exceeding 24hrs) from when the direction was given, as he/she may specify.
It is an offence to fail to comply with an officers’ instruction and the offender can be arrested for the offence without a warrant.
The order will be in place for six months and will then be reviewed. Anyone breaching the dispersal order faces up to three months in prison or a £2,500 fine.
For further information contact the Sergeant Sally Blaiklock or PC Andrew Cropper on 0345 123 33 33 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.