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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 16:49 GMT
New powers to tackle street gangs
New powers have been brought in to allow police to break up groups of young troublemakers in Northants.

The three-month dispersal order, put in place in Towcester from Friday, helps police deal with anti-social behaviour. The order, covering the Richmond Road and Islington Road areas, allows police to order group of youths to disperse.

It was brought in after police had to deal with several groups of up to 30 youngsters drinking alcohol and causing criminal damage in this area.

A police spokeswoman added that: "On one occasion recently a car was set alight in the area and Towcester Library has had many windows smashed".

'Minority of troublemakers'

The order, put in place by South Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire Police, also includes discretionary powers to ban individuals from an area of the dispersal zone for up to 24 hours.

Failure to comply the order's terms could result in arrest and subsequent prosecution.

Pc Justin Brown, of Northamptonshire Police, said: "A minority of troublemakers seem intent on causing problems for the area's residents.

"My police colleagues and I know that the majority of young people are well-behaved and this order will not interfere with normal activities such as attending the local youth club or sporting activities in the area.

"A dispersal order is part of a range of options that police have to tackle anti-social behaviour and we will be working closely with out partner agencies to try to ensure that we can find a long-term solution to the problem."

Dispersal quest for 'quiet' town
16 Jul 05 |  Northamptonshire

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