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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Order to tackle anti-social gangs
Young man and youths
Police will disperse groups of two or more people in Knightswood
Police in Glasgow are to implement the city's first dispersal order in a bid to combat anti-social behaviour.

The order will be enforced in the Knightswood area from Friday 1 September amid concerns about youths fighting and crime levels.

It will allow Strathclyde Police to disperse groups of two or more people for the first time.

Anyone who does not comply with the order faces a fine of up to 2,500 and up to three months imprisonment.

This is not just a quick fix, it is part of an ongoing process
Supt Campbell Corrigan

It is hoped the order will lead to fewer problems around the Forth and Clyde Canal where officers have had to deal with an increase in people carrying knives, drinking in public and vandalism in recent years.

It is thought the disorder is mainly caused by youths coming in from areas such as Drumchapel and Whitecrook and meeting local teenagers.

A dispersal order, which runs from 3pm to 3am each day, means people can be moved from the area if they do not live there.

'Array of weapons'

Supt Campbell Corrigan said: "Knightswood is not the worst area in Glasgow by any means but the problems in the area have been going on for years now.

"This course of action will allow residents who suffer damage to property or who are fearful of going out because of groups of youths, sometimes armed with an array of weapons, a better quality of life.

Dispersal orders Scotland
Aberdeen Beach Boulevard - two
Edinburgh Hunter Square - two
Mid Calder
Millbank Road, Dingwall
St Michael's Church, Dumfries
St Andrew's Church, Dumfries

"This is not just a quick fix, it is part of an ongoing process."

The order is within the constituency of Glasgow Anniesland MSP Bill Butler.

He said: "I am certain that the power will be used in such a way to ensure my constituents in Knightswood and the surrounding areas can live their lives free from the blight of anti-social behaviour without their day-to-day business being disrupted by the wholly unacceptable behaviour of a tiny minority."

Last year the entire village of Mid Calder, West Lothian, was made into a dispersal zone.

The measure was introduced after police found teenagers were using text messages and the internet to arrange fights in the conservation village 12 miles outside Edinburgh.

Orders have also been used by Grampian Police to stop so-called "bouley-bashers" who meet at Aberdeen beach and race up and down the streets.

If considered appropriate, a dispersal order can be renewed for up to three months at a time.

See how the dispersal zone will work

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