Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership has put in place special powers to deal with antisocial behaviour (ASB) in one of its most troublesome wards.
The Partnership which includes Rochdale Borough Council and Greater Manchester Police, alongside many other crime fighting agencies, has agreed to implement a six month dispersal order which covers most of Rochdale’s Milkstone and Deeplish ward. The order was requested by Greater Manchester Police.
The Section 30 Dispersal Order of the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 gives police officers the power to instruct people causing a nuisance to immediately leave the area and not return to the area for 24 hours. Under 16s may be taken home or to a place of safety by police officers if found congregating on the street. Where dispersal orders have been used in the past, and in other areas, they have proven to be very effective in reducing disorder. In the past few months since August to November the recorded number of ASB incidents in Milkstone and Deeplish increased considerably forcing agencies to take radical action.
The dispersal order is effective from 25 November 2013 to 25 May 2014.
Annette Anderson, Chief Superintendent at Rochdale Division, said: “We have had to act swiftly to curb this antisocial behaviour and disorder before it gets out of hand. We will not allow people to intimidate, harass or distress our communities. Introducing these powers gives us more strength to tackle a small minority whose inconsiderate behaviours and attitudes are causing harm.
“We’re asking people not to gather in the area and to behave sensibly when out with friends. If anyone gathers within the dispersal zone in groups of two or more and behaves anti-socially, in other words is being noisy, abusive, drinking alcohol on the street, damaging property or behaving in a manner likely to intimidate others you will be asked to leave
“We will be acting sternly and any person causing a disturbance will be moved on or dealt with using the full extent of the law.”
The main problem is a large groups of youths gathering regularly on the streets, drinking alcohol, causing damage to vehicles and being very noisy. The community has been complaining to the extent where a high number of incidents of ASB and criminal damage have been reported to police within the past two months alone. These incidents have included a serious arson attack and a series of burglaries the combination of which has led the authorities to invoke the Section 30 powers so as to prevent further incidents from occurring.
Failure to comply with the requirement to leave when asked, without a reasonable excuse, is a criminal offence and can lead to prosecution. There is a maximum penalty of 3 months imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding £2500.
Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, assistant cabinet member for strengthening communities at Rochdale Borough Council, added: “I have no doubt the robust intervention of the dispersal order and alcohol confiscation will be effective and restore peace to the area. I welcome this move to improve the quality of life of communities currently plagued by this antisocial behaviour.
“I would like to appeal to parents to take notice of their children’s behaviours and be aware of what they are up to, especially at night and weekends. You should dissuade your children from engaging in this type of behaviour and be aware that participation could have serious consequences.”
The dispersal order covers key ASB hotspots in Milkstone and Deeplish including at the lower end of Ashfield Road and Kensington Street.
To report antisocial behaviour call the police’s non-emergency number on 101 or you can report it online at www.rochdale.gov.uk/reportasb
You can now get the latest safety advice and crime updates by following the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership, @saferrochdale, on twitter.
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