Portsmouth police put in dispersal order in Somers Town after spike in anti-social behaviour

PEOPLE plagued by anti-social behaviour are being offered a reprieve by police launching a dispersal order.

By Ben Fishwick
Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 4:32 pm

A senior officer has agreed a wide area will be subject to a Section 34 dispersal order – meaning police can move unruly yobs on.

The order comes into force at 5pm today and covers Sedgley Close in Somers Town, and the Somers Town Adventure Playground, the basketball courts, play area, green spaces and surrounding footpaths.

It comes after an ‘increase in anti-social behaviour by a group of young people in the area’. The order ends at 4.59pm on Wednesday.

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Edgbaston House in Sedgley Close, Somers Town. Picture: Sarah Standing (220421-7055)

Inspector Louise Tester said: ‘We know how much anti-social behaviour can negatively impact people’s lives and this is simply not acceptable for the residents of Sedgley Close and its surroundings.

‘While we have ensured that we have extended our patrols in the area, we also feel that making use of these powers to disperse groups of people will help us further to tackle this issue.

‘We are working hard to tackle this issue for local residents and would ask that they come and speak to patrolling officers with concerns or call us on 101.’

Police said the incidents are caused by a very small number of young people, and some do not live in the area.

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‘We are using the dispersal tool as a means to deal with the rise in ASB, whilst supporting the local residents in line with our commitment to keeping our communities safe,’ a spokeswoman said.

‘While our teams have been conducting extra patrols in the area, we are now also making use of a Section 34 dispersal order.

She added: ‘The dispersal order gives our officers the power to order a person to leave the area for a 48 hour period with no return. Refusal to comply with the order is a criminal offence.

‘Those under 16 will be taken be to their home address, and follow-up work will be done with parents.

‘In addition, we have also been jointly working with our community wardens and Portsmouth City Council as part of a longer term solution.’

Call 101 for help or to report an incident to police.

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