Crackdown on problem youths

PUBLISHED: 17:22 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

ESCALATING problems with nuisance youths are prompting police to bring in special measures to deal with them. A Section 30 dispersal order comes into effect in the Martins Wood area of Stevenage on Friday next week (October 13) and will remain in force un

ESCALATING problems with nuisance youths are prompting police to bring in special measures to deal with them.

A Section 30 dispersal order comes into effect in the Martins Wood area of Stevenage on Friday next week (October 13) and will remain in force until the end of January 2007.

It covers the area contained by Mildmay Road, Sandown Road, Ayr Close, Doncaster Close, Fairlands Way and Derby Way.

Section 30 dispersal powers allow police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) to move on groups of more than two people in a designated area if they are causing members of the public to be "intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed".

Officers can also escort home anyone aged under 16 who is out after 9pm.

Anyone failing to comply with a direction given under Section 30 powers can be arrested.

Stevenage community inspector Mark Furnival said: "We have been working hard to tackle those who have been causing problems of nuisance and anti-social behaviour in the Martins Wood area.

"The use of the S30 power is just one of the many tools available to combat anti-social behaviour. However it is not, in isolation, a solution.

"It must be said that the majority of youths in the area are perfectly well behaved and it is only a small minority who cause the problems.

"Working in partnership with Stevenage Borough Council and the community, we are determined to crack down on anti-social behaviour. This legislation is being used in conjunction with ongoing high visibility patrols."

He added: "It is important that the individual youths take responsibility for their actions and just as important that parents are aware of what their children are up to.

"The simple message is, if you come to the area to cause a nuisance and blight the lives of others, you will be moved on and if necessary arrested and charged for breaching the legislation."

PCSO Tara Crawley said: "These powers have proved to be very effective in the past and allow police officers and PCSOs the option of moving on groups who are causing a nuisance.

"I will be continuing to visit the area on a regular basis and will be dealing robustly with anyone found to be in breach of the legislation.


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