Newport dispersal order 'already bringing results' - traders
5:36am Friday 4th July 2014 in Gwent news
JUST three days after a new dispersal order was implemented in the city centre, 15 warnings and two dispersals have been given and traders are already seeing the difference.
The order, introduced on Tuesday, aims to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour in the city centre and will be in place until midnight on January 1, 2015.
Newsagent Jon Powell, whose newsagent kiosk is in the front of the market, said he has already seen the order in action.
He said a gang had congregated outside his shop on Wednesday afternoon when two officers turned up and ordered them to move from the area in separate directions. He said they didn’t come back.
He added: “It’s exactly what I was hoping for.”
The new High Street entrance to the market opened eight months ago and was part of a £1 million refurbishment project at the market. But two weeks ago, crude graffiti was scribbled on the benches outside Mr Powell’s shop.
He said: “It’s all brand new and it looks really nice and it needs to stay that way.”
Community support officers, Perrie Di Ronato and Jack Purcell, who have been patrolling the city centre for three years, gathered the evidence to obtain the order.
CSO Perrie Di Ronato said: “It is very early days but so far, we’re pleased with how the dispersal order is working. We have given fifteen warnings and two official dispersals to people acting anti-socially in the town centre area.
“There have been no breaches and therefore no arrests which is brilliant – our aim is to stop the issues before they escalate.”
Dispersal orders give police 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.
CSO Di Ronato added: “We have had a great response from local businesses and members of the public so far and would like to thank everyone for their support.”
Newport Inspector Mark Pope, said: “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.”