Police use dispersal order to remove unruly youths
- Credit: Policing Fenland
Police defended the lack of arrests midway through a dispersal order in March this weekend, pointing out that anti-social behaviour by itself is not a crime.
“It's what it says on the tin” said a senior police officer responding to social media comment.
“Therefore, there is no power of arrest. It is something that has to be dealt with through civil orders”
He said that to obtain these “we are legally obliged to try all lower-level interventions first.
“These include acceptable behaviour contracts and parental contracts. If these don’t work then we move to community protection notices.”
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Only if these are breached does it become a criminal offence “and if convicted we can apply for a criminal behaviour order at court. “We are progressing our way through the list building the required evidence.
“This is also why I am appealing for information to be given to us directly.”
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He said the dispersal order “for the community to know we are there and hopefully reassured”.
Prevention was better than allowing more people to be subjected to ASB.
“If the dispersal order is ignored then this provides stronger evidence that a civil order is required. In order to ignore it they need to know it existed,” he said.
The officer explained that in terms of Covid legislation, the law does not allow for children to be fined.
“Parents can if they fail to ensure their children adhere to the rules,” he added. “Dispersal powers allow us to take children home, find out who the parents are and deal with any Covid breaches.”
The officer said: “Despite a number of interventions by the March Neighbourhood Policing Team it appears that there a still some who are intent on committing antisocial behaviour within the town.
“As a result of this the local Inspector has authorised a dispersal order for the whole of March town centre lasting all weekend.”
Officers have been assigned to patrol the areas covered by the order.
“Anyone found causing harassment, alarm or distress to anyone else will be removed by officers from the area,” he added.
If you are affected by anti-social behaviour within the town then in touch directly with police.
Reports can be made via calling 101 or using the online service at www.cambs.police.uk/report
The officer said: “The more we know, the more we can resolve.”