New dispersal power


The new dispersal power will enable Police Officers and/or Police Community Support Officers (“PCSOs”) to direct a person who has committed, or is likely to commit, anti-social behaviour to leave a specified area and not return for a specified period of up to 48 hours.  The officer must specify the area from which the person is excluded from, and may specify when and by which route they must leave the area.  Where the officer believes an individual is under the age of 16, an officer can remove that individual to a place where he or she lives or to a place of safety.

Failure to comply with the direction to leave would be a criminal offence and would carry a maximum penalty of a fine up to £2,500 and/or three months imprisonment. In addition to the dispersal power a Police Officer and/or Police Community Support Officers (“PCSOs”), will also be able to require an individual to hand over any items causing, or likely to cause, anti-social behaviour – for instance, alcohol or a can of spray pain. Failure to comply with the requirement is a criminal offence, the maximum penalty for which is a fine up to £500. The items that are confiscated can be collected at a later date and the Police Officer will inform the owner on how to do that.  If the owner is 16 or under they will be required to collect the items with a responsible adult.

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