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Officers in Cannock have issued a dispersal order to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in the area following concerns from local residents.
In a bid to tackle the issue, Cannock Neighbourhood Policing Team have put a dispersal order in place.
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.
There have been reports of ASB in the area recently, with youths reportedly engaging in disorder and causing damage.
The order came into force at 3pm today (Wednesday 18 May) and will run until 4am on Thursday (19 May) – unless extended.
The order has been granted for officers and PCSOs to use in the locality of Ringway, Avon Road, Wolverhampton Road, Newhall Street, and the B5012 Stafford Road.
Inspector Chris Moss, deputy commander for Cannock Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Following an increase in calls from concerned residents, officers will be patrolling the town centre 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.
“We understand the impact this behaviour can have on people living in the area, so are asking teenagers to be mindful and considerate of others when out and about.
“I would like to stress that officers will only use these powers where absolutely necessary and appeal to parents and guardians to ensure that 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 www.staffordshire.police.uk/report, sending a direct message on Facebook or Twitter or calling 101.