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Walsall town centre dispersal notice

July 13, 2010

Walsall Police and Walsall Council have secured a dispersal order for Walsall Town Centre, which allows police to remove individuals causing anti-social behaviour.

From Monday 19th July 2010 until January 17th 2011, officers will have the power to move on groups of two or more people believed to be causing a nuisance.

When ordered to move on by police, the persons will not be allowed to re-enter the town centre for a further 24 hours. If they do return before the end of the 24 hours, they can be arrested for breaching the order.

The dispersal order comes after complaints had been received from town centre businesses, who were concerned about large number of groups gathering outside their premises, using unsuitable language and deterring customers.

Although officers on regular patrol within the town centre move the groups on, as soon as the officers leave the location the groups come back. The new order will enable the police to exclude them from the town centre for a day.

The dispersal order will also enable officers to deal with drunken customers who visit the town centre at the weekend. This will compliment the tactics already in place which include the well established Be Safe operation and the new Triage service .

Sergeant Richard Churchill, from Walsall town centre policing team,said:”Walsall town centre is a safe place to work,live and visit with crime continuing to fall. We have seen a reduction of crime month on month for the last 16 months now. We have been working in partnership with local retailers and the market traders for some time and they have highlighted continual problems with certain groups who visit Walsall town centre and cause anti-social behaviour. Our message to them is that this will not be tolerated and action will be taken to exclude these groups from the town.”

Sergeant John De-Hayes, from Walsall licensing team, said: “A lot of people visit Walsall town centre at the weekends and the vast majority are well behaved. The dispersal order gives us an extra power to deal with the very small minority that cause problems for the rest. This will enable us to target groups of people who are in the town solely to commit crime and so make Walsall a safer place to visit and work.”

The introduction of the dispersal order has been backed by Safer Walsall Partnership. The partnership is made up of various agencies including Walsall council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, NHS Walsall, Walsall Housing Group and New Horizons who are working together to address crime, anti-social behaviour and environmental issues across the borough.

Councillor Zahid Ali, Chairman of Safer Walsall Partnership, said: “The dispersal order is just one of a number of initiatives we have or are putting in place in the town centre to ensure we stay on top of anti-social behaviour. Anti-social behaviour across the borough as a whole is falling but it is important we do not become complacent and continue working hard to reduce the number of people directly affected by ASB even further.There is a lot of good work already taking place in the town centre to make people feel safer and the dispersal order will add to this.”

The map below shows the area covered by the Dispersal Notice.

19th Jul

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