Special powers to tackle anti-social behaviour put in place
Anti-social behaviour in the Barton Street area of Gloucester is being tackled by police with a new dispersal order.
It allows police officers to ban people from the area for 24 hours if they are causing trouble.
The order, which was agreed with Gloucester City Council, will run for six months until April 2013 and is in response to reports of groups gathering in the Napier Street play area, consuming alcohol and intimidating other members of the community.
The new measure allows police officers or Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to direct any groups of two or more to leave an area for 24 hours when they believe the behaviour of the group is likely to result in members of the public being harassed, alarmed or distressed.
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The order covers the area within the boundaries of Metz Way, Derby Road, Barton Street and Trier Way.
Notices and maps of the areas affected are now being put up locally to warn people.
Insp Neil Smith said: "This is something we've done after consulting with the community.
"They quite rightly have concerns about individuals and groups drinking on the street or in open areas. We take those concerns very seriously and have justifiably decided to take this proportionate action to allow us to police the area robustly.
"It's a really effective tool because we can use it at our discretion to ensure the extremely small minority who diminish the quality of life for others have to leave, and receive a strong punishment if they ignore the order."