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A dispersal order has been issued for an area of Stoke-on-Trent as police look to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Meir.
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 dispersal order will start at 4pm today (Friday 8 April) and will end at 4pm Sunday 10 April – unless extended.
Sergeant Gareth Ewart, of the Stoke South Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Following an increase in calls from concerned residents and businesses, officers will be patrolling the area over the coming days to tackle any instances of crime or anti-social behaviour.
“The majority of young people go out to meet up with their friends and do not cause any problems. However, there is a number of individuals that have engaged in anti-social behaviour, which has caused the community to feel intimidated and worried by these larger groups.
“With schools closing for half-term this week and the weather forecast improving, 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 work with partner agencies to tackle issues reported by our communities and encourage parents and guardians to ensure they know where their children are, what they are up to, and who they are with.”
Anyone with any concerns can contact Staffordshire Police by reporting online at https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/report or sending a direct message on Facebook or Twitter, or calling 101.