Police renew dispersal order for Letchworth GC town centre

A dispersal order to help police control anti-social behaviour has been renewed for Letchworth GC town centre. The order, which is in place under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 after discussions between police and North Herts District Council (NHDC

A dispersal order to help police control anti-social behaviour has been renewed for Letchworth GC town centre.

The order, which is in place under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 after discussions between police and North Herts District Council (NHDC), came into force on May 29, and has been renewed for another six months.

This order gives powers to police officers and police community support officers allowing them to disperse groups of two or more persons that are causing or are likely to cause harassment alarm or distress to members of the public.

Police can ask members of the public or persons in a group to leave the relevant locality and not return within 24 hours. Failure to comply with such a direction can result in the arrest of that person.

Sergeant Steve Oliphant from the Letchworth Neighbourhood Team said: "The dispersal order has proved extremely successful so far in tackling incidents of anti-social behaviour which is why we have decided to renew it.

"Most young people in Letchworth are not involved in such incidents, it is a small minority but, where incidents do occur individuals are dealt with accordingly. I would like to reassure people that we are committed to working with the council to produce long term solutions to concerns about anti-social behaviour and further improve the quality of life for residents in Letchworth."

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NHDC portfolio holder for community engagement and rural affairs Cllr Tricia Cowley said: "I am sure we are doing the right thing in extending this dispersal order.

"It is having the desired effect in reducing anti-social behaviour and, by providing a safe environment for everyone it is in line with the council's priority of supporting town centres."

Anti-social behaviour includes street drinking; dealing or buying drugs on the street; vandalism, graffiti and fly-posting; rowdy, noisy behaviour and nuisance neighbours.

If you are suffering anti-social behaviour call Hertfordshire Constabulary on 0845 3300 222.

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