New anti-crime youth initiative in South Norwood

Police in South Norwood. Pic: Meabh Nig Uidhir and Nikki Allan

Safer Croydon Partnership has imposed a dispersal order to combat crime among youths in South Norwood.

The dispersal order which started yesterday (Tuesday) will be running until April 2012. It gives the police extra authority to break up groups of teenagers who have the potential to cause crime and allows them to escort home those who may become victims of crime or who are behaving badly. It also allows police to remove youths who don’t live in the area.

Anyone found breaching the order could face three months imprisonment under the Antisocial Behaviour Act or receive a maximum fine of up to £2,500.

The order is a response to a recent spate of crimes within the area. It aims to prevent antisocial behaviour and youth robbery.

Cabinet member for community safety, Simon Hoar, believes that reinstating a dispersal order will help combat the high levels of crime. He said that similar schemes had previously been “highly successful” in the area.

Local resident Gare Simmons, 38, who lives on Selhurst Road, which falls within the dispersal zone said: “I don’t feel safe here with the gangs and things, a face to face contact point is always good. Anything extra is going to help. They need to advertise the scheme more because people don’t really know about it.”

Sergeant Cliff Baxter from South Norwood Safer Neighbourhoods team said: “This dispersal zone will help up to keep the majority of young people who do not cause trouble safe. Young people are often targeted by thieves for their smart phones or iPods, so this will help us to disperse groups seeking to prey on them.”

Protected areas. Pic: Meabh Nig Uidhir and Nikki Allan

The roads covered by the dispersal order are; Tennison Road, Selhurst Road, Oliver Grove, Holmesdale Road, Holmesdale Gardens, Hambleton Gardens, Southern Avenue, Lancaster Road, Manor Road, Goat House Bridge, Sunny Bank, Regina Road, Lincoln Road, Eldon Park Road and Albert Road.

Additional reporting by Nikki Allan



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