Police say Wisbech dispersal order “in response to groups targeting esidents causing intimidation, harassment alarm and distress”

PUBLISHED: 16:42 27 August 2014

Councillors discussing the Dispersal order issued for Waterlees. Left: Cllr Virginia Bucknor, Cllr Michael Bucknor, Cllr Paul Clapp and Cllr Alan Lay.Picture: Steve Williams.

Councillors discussing the Dispersal order issued for Waterlees. Left: Cllr Virginia Bucknor, Cllr Michael Bucknor, Cllr Paul Clapp and Cllr Alan Lay.Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

A police sergeant has claimed that some of those responsible for the anti social behaviour in part of Wisbech where a dispersal order has been introduced are from outside the area.

Entrance to the Spinney play area.Picture: Steve Williams. Entrance to the Spinney play area.Picture: Steve Williams.

Sgt Dave Bax said the order – for an area bordering The Spinney, Waterlees Road and Ollard Avenue- was “in response to groups targeting local residents causing intimidation, harassment alarm and distress to members of the public”

He said groups of two or more can now be dispersed from the area for up to 24 hours on each occasion and arrested if they return within this period.

“Members of the groups involved have chosen to target vulnerable people knowing that those persons are less able to defend themselves, they have thrown stones, abused and harassed decent people just trying to get on with their lives,” he said.

“What is really amazing is some of the groups don’t even live in Waterlees Ward and decide to roam elsewhere from where they live to act in a childish and irresponsible way.

Cllr Paul Clapp being interviewed by the BBC film crew at the Waterlees spinney play area.Picture: Steve Williams. Cllr Paul Clapp being interviewed by the BBC film crew at the Waterlees spinney play area.Picture: Steve Williams.

“We are currently investigating a number of harassment cases and reports of violence with the intention of bringing those responsible to justice. We will get there and we will identify you.”

Sgt Bax said some had chosen to “prey on younger decent kids just wanting to enjoy themselves and be kids. “They have chosen to frequent the adventure play park, smoke drugs and throw stones at peoples houses.”

He said the dispersal order also allows police to take under 16′s home between the hours of 9pm and 6am. “This is in response to late night drinking of alcohol,” he said.

And in a message to parents he added: “If you’re under 18′s are out late, ask yourself where they are and be satisfied they are enjoying themselves and not causing issues to anyone else. The majority do the right thing, the minority act like thugs.”

Sgt Bax promised that police would work with housing associations “where we identify the culprits to look very closely at their parents tenancy clauses and where there children are dispersed, provide all the evidence to those housing associations to allow action to be taken”.

He said: “The basic principle here is enjoy the play park and open spaces, get involved with youth activities such as the boxing club but don’t intimidate local residents -leave them alone, let them live peacefully and respect that peace.”

• Tell us what you think? Do you agree with the tough police action? Is there a better way or this is the right way to tackle the problems? email john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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