Dispersal order issued for Meir and surrounding area
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Police are calling on parents to check in on their children this weekend after a dispersal order was issued for an area of Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford Borough.
The notice – which focuses on the area including Meir, Meir Park and Grindley Park in Meir Heath – gives officers extra powers in their crackdown on anti-social behaviour and comes after police have received numerous reports involving youths committing anti-social behaviour.
The order, granted under section 34 of the Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, gives officers the power to disperse anyone for the purpose of or reducing the likelihood of members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed, distressed or the occurrence of crime and disorder.
Failing to comply with an order is a criminal offence and police can return anyone under the age of 16 to their home address. They can issue the notices for a period of up to 48 hours and anyone found breaching a notice is liable to be arrested and face further action.
The order will start on Friday 2 July at 4pm and will end at 4pm Sunday 4 July – unless extended.
Chief Inspector Rob Hessell said, “We’ve issued this dispersal order after members of the local community raised concerns over anti-social behaviour in the area.
“We are working closely with local partners and these powers are vital in helping us combat anti-social behaviour in our county but I would like to stress that our officers will only use these where absolutely necessary.
“I would now like to appeal to parents and guardians. Do you know where your children are heading this weekend? Do you know what they are up to? Do you know who they are with? Please help us in keeping our communities and your children safe.”
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “In recent weeks in Meir, Meir Park and the surrounding area there has been a stark increase in anti-social behaviour. Fights have broken out and fires have been started, in one instance the fire service had to be called. Deliberately putting pressure on our emergency services is unacceptable and behaviour we do not condone. As a council, we work hard alongside the police to combat anti-social behaviour in the city; we want people to feel safe and we do not tolerate this behaviour.
“We know the majority of young people go out to meet up with their friends and do not cause any problems. However, these individuals that are engaging in anti-social behaviour in the Meir and Meir Park area are causing the community to feel intimidated and worried. We take concerns from the community very seriously and are working closely with the police to share information and take a joined up approach.
“The dispersal order is immediately effective meaning that the police are able to break up groups of two or more people where they believe their behaviour is causing or likely to cause a nuisance, harassment or distress to other residents. We would urge community members to keep reporting any issues so that action can be taken swiftly.”
Anyone with any concerns can contact Staffordshire Police by calling 101, reporting online at https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/report or sending a direct message on Facebook or Twitter.