New powers bid to curb bad behaviour in Newport city centre
Updated 11:59am Saturday 28th June 2014 in Gwent news
FROM next week, trouble makers in the city centre will be forced to move on or face arrest, thanks to a new order championed by two Newport officers.
One Newport Partnership, which includes Gwent Police, Newport City Council and their partner agencies, is set to introduce a new dispersal order to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour.
One Newport took action after receiving repeated complaints from members of the public, and shop and businessowners about anti-social behaviour including begging, graffiti, street drinking and general rowdiness.
Where the dispersal order covers in Newport city centre:
According to Gwent Police, more than 670 calls of anti-social behaviour have been received since the start of 2014, with the main areas affected being High Street, John Frost Square, Gilligan’s Island and around Newport Leisure Centre.
Community support officer, Perrie Di Ronato, has been patrolling the city centre with colleague Jack Purcell for the past three years. She said: “We have carried out a huge amount of work over the last few years to tackle anti-social behaviour in this area and that work will continue. This order will give us the added power to deal with those offenders who refuse to take our advice and act responsibly and respectfully.
“This dispersal order will not affect anyone in Newport who is out having a good time and behaving.”
The new order will run from 9am on July 1, until midnight on January 1, 2015.
Dispersal orders give police officers and community support officers the power to direct any groups of two or more people to leave a specified area if their behaviour is likely to cause members of the public to feel alarmed, harassed or distressed.
Anyone who refuses to leave or returns to the area within 24 hours, when ordered not to do so can be arrested under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
Newport Inspector Mark Pope, said: “The Newport City centre team in particular CSO’s Perrie Di Ronato and Jack Purcell have worked tirelessly in gathering sufficient evidence in order to obtain the dispersal order.
“The order will be of great benefit in making Newport city centre a safer place to visit, we are working hard to improve the reputation of Newport city centre at this exciting time where regeneration and redevelopment is moving at a pace.
“The dispersal order will enable us to send out a clear message unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Gwent Police also said there was no plan to use the order in the event of protests against the Nato summit.