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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2005, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Classical music clears yob crowd
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Music has also been piped into bus station shelters in a Yorkshire town
Classical music could be used to stop young people congregating around the bandstand in a West Sussex town.

Police in Worthing employed the tactic after one occasion when more than 60 teenagers gathered there during a single night.

It has also been successfully used in Yorkshire and Tyneside in the past, and police are now considering permanent music speakers around the bandstand.

The trial run at the end of May "worked very well", said Pc Rob Bowden.

The music was played between 2030 and 2300 BST.

Pc Bowden said: "For the first hour they were playing up to it, dancing around and acting the fool.

"But then they said 'you win', and gave up and went home."

'Quite intimidating'

Pc Bowden said the idea was trialled in May because so many police resources were being directed towards dealing with anti-social behaviour at the bandstand.

Yvonne Norman, who runs the nearby Luna restaurant, said: "They gather in large groups and they can be quite intimidating although some of them are only 13 or 14.

"They're abusive, they've been drinking and we've even had to remove them from our tables."

Pc Bowden said only one local resident complained about the classical music being too loud.

He is investigating how much it would cost to play it every weekend.

"Because the problem is so bad we're looking to place some speakers on a permanent basis and play some ambient classical music in the background with a view to dispersing the youths on a Friday and Saturday night."

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