A DISPERSAL order designed to beat anti-social behaviour among youths received a “superb response” from parents after they were informed—by text.
Police used Dinnington Comprehensive School’s parents mobile service to tell mums and dads of the Section 30 order, which gives extra powers to curb drunken and rowdy behaviour in big gangs.
The first weekend saw officers speak to nearly 100 young people in Dinnington and Anston, with alcohol seized from 21 underage drinkers.
Twelve young people were identified for referral to youth services intervention, and police expect to build on this success before the order runs out in mid-May.
Insp Richard Scholey said: “This mass socialising is by no means a problem in itself.
The order was granted in response to the worrying problem of increasingly large numbers of young people descending on Dinnington and Anston.
“The situation has become a clear problem because of the behaviour of some of those in the group, which at times has numbered 150 or more.”
“Not only is this behaviour alarming for local residents, it is also dangerous for the young people involved.”
Efforts to deal with the issue in recent months met with limited success, but Insp Scholey said the order has received a positive response from the community.
It is also being supported by Young People’s Services, voluntary groups, councillors and the Area Assembly.
Insp Scholey said: “The order allows us to disperse groups of two or more persons from the designated zone if we believe they are likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
“It also grants us the authority to return under 16s home after 9pm. Our intention is to apply the powers only when absolutely necessary.”
Additional activities are being arranged for young people in the area, including a mobile youth bus.