Police to use new dispersal law in Buckland

Contributed by editor on Oct 19, 2004 - 09:23 AM


The Police in South East Kent and Dover District Council are getting tough with gangs of youths who commit anti-social behaviour in the Buckland area of Dover. From Thursday 21st October, police officers will, for the first time, have the power to disperse groups who are causing intimidation, alarm or distress in a defined area.

Under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, police have the power to apply to the local authority to make certain roads, or communities 'designated dispersal areas'. Under the Act, any group of two or more people found causing intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress in the designated area can be dispersed by a police officer.

Young people under the age of 16 who are not accompanied by a responsible adult can be taken back to their homes between the hours of 9.00 pm and 6.00 am. To fail to comply is an arrestable offence punishable by a fine and/or three months imprisonment.

The decision to ask Dover District Council to consider making Buckland a Designated Dispersal Area was made by Strategic Crime Reduction Officer, Sgt Guy Thompson and follows complaints from residents and a rise in incidents of anti-social behaviour in that area.

Sgt Thompson said: "Many people are concerned about groups of youths congregating in the evening causing intimidation and distress and generally disturbing residents' quality of life."

He added: "This is the first Designated Dispersal Area in the Dover district and will give the police the power to move trouble-makers o­n much more easily than we did before unless they were committing specific offences."

Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council said: "This action shows that Dover District Council is not taking anti-social behaviour lightly but means business. Residents need to know that where there is enforceable legislation that can be applied to stop these actions, we are prepared to apply it. We recognise that the people of Buckland are having a particularly difficult time and we support the Police in their efforts to resolve unruly behaviour and in trying to bring peace of mind to local residents."

Notices are being displayed in various locations across the dispersal area and an advert will be placed in the local press to inform residents about the new powers.


<FONT color=navy>The dispersal area is:

<FONT color=navy>Part of Buckland Estate which covers the areas inside a boundary comprising of:

<FONT color=navy>Melbourne Avenue junction with Green Lane to Melbourne Avenue Junction Ottawa Crescent, to Ottawa Way and o­ntario Way; footpath leading from Green Lane to Milton Close, including Milton Close junction with the Linces, from The Linces to the field Around Powel School including boundary with Old Park Hill to Junction Chaucer Crescent and the Linces; to the Junction of the Linces and Roosevelt Road, from Roosevelt Road to Junction Green Lane and to Green lane Jn Melbourne Avenue.

<FONT color=navy>Included within this area are: Sheridan Road, Wellington Gardens, Selkirk Road, Ottawa Crescent, Alberta Close, Winnipeg Close, Edmonton House, Toronto Close, Hudson Close, Montreal Close, Vancouver Road, Nelson Terrace, St Lawrence Terrace, Calgary Terrace, Cedar Terrace, Montcalm Terrace, Wolfe Terrace, Churchill House Heights, Niagara House, Mackenzie Terrace, Quebec Terrace, Vancouver Road.