Police issue dispersal order in east Leeds after spike in anti-social behaviour

Police have issued a dispersal order for large parts of east Leeds after a spike in anti-social behaviour.

Sunday, 19th September 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Sunday, 19th September 2021, 10:04 am

The 48-hour order began on Friday and lasts until 5pm today (Sunday).

It gives police officers or PCSOs the power to disperse groups with a direction to leave the area and not return within a 48 hour period.

The dispersal order in place covers Swarcliffe, Whinmoor, North Seacroft and the Naburn estates.

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West Yorkshire Police's Leeds East team said on Facebook: "This is to tackle Anti Social behaviour and provide the public with reassurance."

The orders can only be put in place for 48 hours, but people responding to the post questioned whether it was enough.

One said: "What's the point of doing it for a few days, they will just go back to what they were doing. The order will just move the gangs from one place to another."

While another added: "Just give them fines, doubled up each time they offend. Can't pay it then community service cleaning the streets."

What is a dispersal order?

According to West Yorkshire Police: "A dispersal order is used in a wide range of situations in order to offer immediate relief to the community.

"These powers enable officers and PCSOs to direct a person who has engaged/likely to engage in anti-social behaviour, to leave a specified area and not to return for a period of 48 hours.

"The 'specified area' cannot include the place where they live/work.

"The officer must believe that the behaviour is contributing/likely to contribute to anti-social behaviour and/or crime in the area and as such using the powers would be necessary to reduce crime levels.

"It may include confiscation of items (e.g. alcohol) and is available to anyone that appears over 10 years of age.

"An example of when dispersal powers may be used would be if an individual was consuming alcohol in a town centre and as a result was being verbally abusive to members of the public. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and can result in imprisonment and/or a fine."

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