People urged to be sensible as dispersal order issued for Meir
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Officers in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford Borough are urging people to be sensible this weekend after a dispersal order was issued for an area in Meir.
The notice – which focuses on Meir, Meir Park and Grindley Park – 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 16 July at 4pm and will end at 4pm Sunday 18 July – unless extended.
Chief Inspector Rob Hessell said, “We’ve issued this dispersal order with members of the local community concerned over anti-social behaviour in the area.
“This isn’t the first we’ve issued in the area and we, alongside local partners, will continue to do whatever possible to combat anti-social behaviour in our county. These powers are there as a reminder to young people and their parents that we will take action where 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: “Over the past few weeks there have been pockets of anti-social behaviour in different communities. It will not be tolerated and it is being tackled by effective, targeted partnership work. The police have been using their powers to respond to this, and we fully support this work. Anti-social behaviour causes intimidation and worry in communities and puts pressure on emergency services.
“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 swifty.”