Bexhill police dispersal order

DETAILS of the dispersal order due to come into force in Bexhill have been revealed.

Saturday, 16th June 2007, 8:36 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:44 pm

Authorisation for the order was granted by the superintendent of Sussex Police on Tuesday.

It takes effect next Friday (June 22). Bexhill Police agreed the step with Rother District Council after a spate of yob crime in the town.

Officers will have the power to disperse groups of two or more people if they have 'reasonable grounds' to believe members of the public are likely to be 'intimidated, alarmed or distressed.'

Under 16-year-olds not accompanied by responsible adults can be returned home if caught on the streets between 9pm and 6am.

The order stretches along the seafront from West Parade to the De La Warr Parade junction with Middlesex Road and from the seafront northwards as far as the Beeching Road junction with London Road.

Upper Sea Road and the Manor Gardens are also included in the order.

Failure to comply with a request to move on or returning to the area within 24 hours can result in arrest and up to three months in jail.

The order lasts for three months and can be cancelled by police at any time.

Superintendent Grenville Wilson said in his public notice he had grounds to believe, "anti-social behaviour is a significant and persistent problem ... "

He said: "I am satisfied that traditional policing approaches have been taken but have not significantly impacted upon the problems experienced, or the level of resourcing required to impact on the problems is not sustainable over an extended period to be considered viable."

A police statement said the decision "had not been taken lightly."

Chief Inspector Steve Brookman, Rother District Commander, added: "I do not see this as an over reaction to a minor problem, but the police taking a responsible approach to growing concerns over the behaviour of young people in the town.

"Whilst I appreciate that there may be concerns amongst parents as to the rights of their children I would point out the following; this power will actually result in those children who are well behaved being safer from thugs. There is a core of 10 to 15 young people, whose names have emerged as a result of research, who I want to target. These people are as much a threat to young people going about their legitimate business as they are to the rest of the community.

"The power will not be used indiscriminately. It will be used to target those who most need attention.

"Three quarters of all anti-social behaviour and repeated damage is committed by the under 18 age group. I have asked repeatedly in public for parents to take a reasonable approach to managing their children.

"A small percentage has repeatedly chosen to ignore these requests. The crime figures show that anti-social behaviour over the first few months has become significantly worse.

"More often than not, officers are met with rudeness and defiance on the street by the young people they know to be committing the crime and by awkwardness and belligerence by the parents when confronted with their child's behaviour. I am determined to equip officers with the tools they need to improve the situation."