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A further dispersal order has been issued for an area of Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford Borough as police look to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Meir.
The notice – which is the fourth in as many weeks focusing 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.
So far, 11 dispersal notices have been served to people failing to comply with the regulations – with more individuals dispersed using the extra powers given to officers.
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 at 4pm on Friday 23 July and will end at 4pm Sunday 25 July – unless extended.
Chief Inspector Rob Hessell said; "These orders have proved to have had a positive impact on the local community with fewer groups gathering in the area as a result.
"We are continuing to work closely with local partners to review the situation in Meir in the hope that we continue to see a decline in the amount of anti-social behaviour in the area.
"We also, alongside the local authority and other bodies, look to problem solve and offer support to families and young people where they are willing to accept it. For those that do not and persist in causing trouble then a variety of measures will be considered to alleviate the issues being caused for other local residents and businesses.
"With schools ending this week and the recent beautiful weather, we’ve decided to implement a further order as a way to ensure young people enjoy their time off sensibly and safely.
"We continue to ask parents and guardians to be aware of their child’s whereabouts over the coming weeks and months and, in doing so, help keeping them and our communities safe."
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown said: "We welcome the further dispersal order and it builds on work over the past few weeks to respond to concerns from communities. We’re pleased that this action has resulted in fewer groups gathering, and we continue to treat the safety of our communities extremely seriously, working with the police and other agencies to address any concerns from residents."
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.