Concerns from residents over anti-social behaviour in the Broad Green area of Croydon has led to the re-introduction of a dispersal order.
The initiative by Safer Croydon Partnership was announced Tuesday and will give police the authority to break up groups of two or more people if they believe there is potential of trouble arising.
Croydon Councillor, Simon Hoar, a cabinet member for Community Safety, said: “We know the public have been intimidated and harassed as a result of anti-social behaviour. This dispersal order will enable the police to tackle this persistent problem and help this community to feel safer.”
The move has also been welcomed by some locals, with Brian Mumford, Chair of Broad Green Residents Association, saying, “we are all for it”.
Individuals who fall foul of the order can be prevented from returning to the area of offence for up to 24 hours, unless they reside in the area.
Mumford added: “We will be pleased with it; it would be good to break up groups as we often get crowds of people in the area”.
The dispersal order, which began on Monday 13 January, will end Saturday 12 July and covers the following areas:
- Galpin’s Road, to the junction of Silverleigh Road
- Warwick Road junction Goston Gardens
- London Road from the junction of Galpin’s Road and Warwick Road, to the junction of Oakfield Road
- Thornton Road
- Croydon Cemetery in its entirety
- Wingate Crescent
- Moys Close
- Aurelia Road
- Brading Road
- Sumner Road
- Windmill Road, and all the roads within the triangle formed with St James’sRoad and Whitehorse Road.
In 2012, research by civil liberties group The Manifesto Club revealed that Croydon had the most dispersal orders of any borough in London. Calling the zones “a kind of postcode criminal justice lottery,” the group has argued that dispersal zones are ineffective and discriminatory.
In a statement from the Safer Croydon Partnership, Sergeant Steve Ribano, leader of the Broad Green policing team, highlighted concerns about street drinking on London Road as well as “young people causing nuisance on the Tamworth Road estate.”
Ribano added: “There are also concerns about anti-social behaviour around the transport hubs at West Croydon bus and railway stations. This dispersal order will help us to deal with this.”
Dispersal orders were introduced through the Anti-Social Behaviour Act in 2003 as part of the government’s strategy to crack down on public disorder.