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Police issue a dispersal order crackdown on gangs in Littlemoor, Weymouth
A DISPERSAL order has been placed over Littlemoor in a new clampdown to help police tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
Police and councils have joined forces for the Section 30 lockdown to give officers more power to deal with crime on the Weymouth estate alongside other powers that have been brought in recently.
It allows police to disperse groups of two or more people who are acting anti-socially, or who are likely to cause distress to other people.
The move comes after a spate of vehicle break-ins and arson attacks on cars in the area, with more than a dozen arrests in recent weeks. Sergeant Samuel Goom, from Weymouth and Portland Safer Neighbourhood Team, said extra CCTV has also been installed in Littlemoor.
He said: “These powers will give officers additional measures to deal effectively, robustly and promptly with anti-social behaviour on the estate.
“If you are under 16 years old and misbehaving on the estate we will take you home and ensure your parent or guardian takes steps to ensure it will not happen again. Dorset Police has been working hard with our partner agencies to ensure crime and anti-social behaviour is effectively tackled on the Littlemoor estate.”
He added: “Additional CCTV cameras have been put in place and we recently obtained an anti-social behaviour order against an offender. We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour.”
The boundary of the section 30 area will be the A354 relief road, Littlemoor Road, Honeysuckle Close and land above the Look Out and Top Club off Louviers Road.
Councillor Geoff Petherick, spokesman for community safety at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said the council is working with police to tackle crime in the area.
He said: “We are working hard alongside our partners to tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour in Littlemoor, and it is good to see the community unite to overcome the difficulties caused by a small minority.
“The new measures will boost the options police will have to combat anti-social behaviour and will mean issues can be dealt with swiftly by officers.
“We are delighted that street lighting was switched back on in Littlemoor and a temporary mobile CCTV camera has been erected in the area to improve safety and security.”
Dorset Police, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council agreed the use of dispersal powers under Section 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.
Officers will be able to remove anyone behaving inappropriately away from the area.
It also allows the police to take home anyone in a public place between 9pm and 6am who is under the age of 16, behaving antisocially and they are not with a parent or other responsible person aged 18 or over.
The dispersal order will start on March 1 and will remain in force until September 1.
Watch this video of a car blazing in Littlemoor during an arson attack in Littlemoor last month in January
Police section 30 welcomed by residents
LITTLEMOOR residents and councillors have welcomed the dispersal order and said it worked well when it was implemented in the past.
Jan Hinton, of Culliford Way, said: “When we last had a Section 30 the problem dispersed really quickly.“The police move the troublemakers on and they can't go back within 24 hours or they get arrested.
“It works beautifully but it's not good news that we have to have it.
“We will all be much happier when it stops, we've had such a lot of trouble it's ridiculous.”
Borough councillor for Littlemoor Rachel Rogers said: “I'm really pleased that the police are taking such strong action to deal with the difficulties that Littlemoor residents have been experiencing.“I very much hope the order achieves the end that we have in sight and that the situation is resolved as soon as possible.”
Tell us what you think?
Are you a resident of Littlemoor? Do you welcome this order or feel it is not necessary? Let us know your thoughts below.
To talk about the issues in confidence contact the Littlemoor reporter Rachael Burnett on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01305 830982