Following on from the discussion below on gangs and groups, you might be pleased to discover that a dispersal order, aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour, will come into force in Broadstairs from Friday 1st June.
The order, made by Thanet District Council and Kent Police, is designed to give the police powers to disperse groups of people that they believe are causing trouble or intimidating others. The dispersal order will run for six months and will be in force 24 hours a day. It applies to groups of any age.
It will cover an area of the town, which includes the seafront from Harbour Street to Queens’ Gardens, Granville Road, Queens Road, Pierremont Avenue and the length of the High Street from Pierremont Avenue down towards the seafront. Pierremont Park and Victoria Gardens are both within the dispersal area.
Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “I am delighted to be making this early announcement of our continuing determination reduce anti-social behaviour in Thanet. We know this is a major concern for locals in Broadstairs, who suffered problems throughout last summer, and we are determined to ensure the town does not suffer the same problems again. This is not about disrupting the many festivals and events which take place during the summer months. People who are behaving themselves, have nothing to fear from this dispersal order. But if you come to Broadstairs this summer with mischief in mind, the powers are in place to deal with you straight away. Many in the town will be particularly grateful for the curfew order on younger teenagers who congregate outside shops and off licences on summer evenings.”
Although the dispersal order applies to all ages, a curfew has also been put in place between the hours of 9pm and 6am on anyone under the age of 16. During these hours, the police have the power to take anyone under this age home.
Sgt. Dave Knox of the Crime Reduction Unit for police in East Kent said: “Dispersal orders have proved effective in other parts of East Kent because they give police officers the power to disperse groups of people causing problems for the local community. We are fully aware of the criticism sometimes leveled that the problems are simply shifted to other areas and we have measures in place, including the use of fixed and mobile CCTV cameras, to assist us to act quickly and prevent this from happening. The curfew is an additional tool enabling officers to take young people home when they persist in anti-social behaviour and spoil it for anyone trying to enjoy an evening out in Broadstairs.”
Ed: Please note that this is "dispersal" and not a "disposal" order, given that some members of the Broadstairs community would much prefer the latter form of action applied than the former. It's a start and perhaps we can see it next in Birchington, Margate, Ramsgate and other areas that have experienced problems with congregating 'group' of teenagers, although I'm sure that a great many of the hard-core troublemakers may in fact be over 16 so dealing with them is an equal challenge.