Police roll out Birchwood dispersal order

Police will be using a dispersal order in Lincoln’s Birchwood area to tackle antisocial behaviour.

The order means that groups of people causing alarm or distress to others in the Birchwood Shopping Centre and surrounding green spaces will be ordered to leave.

If the group do not leave, they face being arrested, with a maximum penalty of three months in prison or £2,500 fine.

Anyone under 16 acting antisocially in the area after 9pm who are not with a responsible adult over 18 may be taken home.

Both police officers and PCSOs can order groups of two or more people to move on if they are deemed to be acting antisocially.

It’s hoped this will stop groups of teenagers in the area repeatedly engaging in antisocial behaviour.

The dispersal order will begin from 6am on April 2, and will be tested up until June 19. Notices will also be placed around the area detailing the order.

Local inspector Nikki Mayo, said: “We’ve tried other policing approaches in this area with limited success.

“The decision to use the power of dispersal was taken because we believe that it will bring some relief to the people who live and work in the area and provide a safe and welcoming environment for anyone visiting.

“This dispersal order will only affect the small number of people who congregate and behave in an entirely unacceptable way.”

Simon Colburn, Environmental Protection and Anti-social Behaviour Manager at the City Council, said: “The council wants to ensure all areas of Lincoln are safe places to live and we will support the police to achieve this.

“We’ve acknowledged that there is a particular problem in this part of the city and extra powers have been approved by the council to help police officers and PCSOs to tackle the issue.

“Our Anti-Social Behaviour Team will also continue to work with the police to help reduce this problem.”

Businesses or individuals can contact Lincolnshire Police to report any antisocial behaviour or leave feedback on the scheme on the 101 emergency number.

Source: Lincolnshire Police