Spalding Police are stepping up patrols and have been granted extra powers as they look to tackle anti-social behaviour in the Ayscoughfee Gardens and Vista area.
Operation Warrington is being introduced next Friday, July 25 to coincide with the start of the school summer holidays.
The dispersal order which has been granted allows police to remove groups of two or more from the area. It is not a curfew, but does also provide a power for children under 16 to be removed and taken home if found in the area between 9pm and 6am.
Community Policing Inspector Jim Tyner told the Free Press today: “Recent months have seen an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour so it is important that we consider every power available to us to address the issue.
“Although the power we will be using is called a dispersal order, the aim is to make sure the public space of Ayscoughfee is available for all that want to use it responsibly and considerately. People should also be able to use St Nicolas Church Hall and The Vista without hindrance.”
Inspector Tyner has been granted a dispersal order under Section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 for the vicinity of The Vista, Ayscoughfee Hall and Ayscoughfee Gardens in Spalding. The order will be effective until October 1.
Lincolnshire Police and South Holland District Council believe that the authorisation of this order is a strong, unambigous and effective piece of legislation that will allow the police to disperse groups before they grow in size and commit anti-social behaviour.
The timing of the order is intended to break the offending cycle during the warmer evenings and the school holidays.
A joint press release, issued by the police and district council said: “Dispersal orders provide short-term relief and galvanise local activity, opening a window of opportunity in which to develop holistic and long-terms problem solving responses.
“They form part of a wider multi-agency strategy to tackle the problem and represent an important message that something is being done: they are not intended as a stand-alone ‘sticking plaster’ response.”
It is Inspector Tyner’s intention that this operation will be policed by the local community policing team, with an emphasis on engagement rather than enforcement. The same officers are involved in projects in local senior schools and are considered the most appropriate to encourage diversion away from ASB.
Councillor Nick Worth said: “I am pleased to support this police initiative.”