Police in Shirebrook have been granted additional enforcement powers to help them target the anti-social behaviour of a small minority of people in the town centre.
The decision to introduce the dispersal order has been taken by Derbyshire police and Bolsover District Council, in consultation with other partner agencies, to respond to community concerns.
Under Section 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, uniformed police officers and PCSOs have the power to ask groups of two or more people to disperse if they are engaging in behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any member of the public in the designated area.
If individuals refuse to move on from the area they could be arrested, and face penalties of up to three months in prison or a fine of £2,500.
The order also allows officers to take anyone under the age of 16 within the group to their home address, if they are not supervised by a parent or responsible adult.
Residents have said they are concerned about anti-social and nuisance behaviour around the town centre, Market Place and the Model Village and there has been a recent increase in reports of anti-social behaviour, particularly around the Market Place in the town centre.
Increased police patrols have been put in place and funding for diversionary activities for youngsters are being set up by the Bolsover Community Safety Partnership
Insp Frank Burns, who is in charge of policing in the Shirebrook and Bolsover area, said: “Members of the community in Shirebrook have told us that anti-social behaviour is a concern and we are committed to targeting this and in making a difference to the quality of life for local residents.
“A dispersal order is an effective tool in helping to reduce the unacceptable behaviour of a small minority. The powers will be used proportionately and will therefore only affect those people who are behaving irresponsibly and without consideration for others in the area.”
Coun Brian Murray-Carr, chair of Bolsover Community Safety Partnership added: “We hope that the introduction of this order, with the co-operation of local people, will help to keep the area safe and assist responsible agencies in reducing of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour.
“The introduction of the order along with positive activities for the young shows our ongoing commitment to work in partnership to address anti-social behaviour and to use all available tools and powers that are at our disposal.”
The dispersal order will start on Monday, 7th April and last for six months with periodic multi-agency reviews throughout the duration of the order.
Posters with a map have been produced that highlight the designated dispersal area which will cover the whole of the Shirebrook area.