[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Late night youth curfew a success
A curfew banning young people from congregating late at night on a County Durham housing estate has been hailed as a success.

The dispersal order came into effect at the beginning of March in the Gibside area of Chester-le-Street.

Under Section 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act it gave police the powers to escort home anyone under the age of 16 between 2100 and 0600 GMT.

Police say it has brought significant improvements to the area.

The measure was taken following complaints from residents and shopkeepers in the Gibside area of the town, unhappy at the levels of nuisance and abuse from groups of young people congregating in the area.

'Persistent offenders'

While complaints averaged 20 per month beforehand, this number halved during the time the order was in place.

In addition to the order, police conducted regular foot patrols and visits were made by a police sniffer dog and handler in case drugs were being used in the area.

Local housing officials also made home visits to persistent offenders.

Insp Paul Anderson said: "During the operation it was obvious the young people concerned were aware of the order and were largely staying away from the area. And residents and businesspeople both told us that Gibside had not been as quiet in years."

The order has now expired and an action plan has been worked out to ensure the problems do not recur, with many of the measures to be continued, especially foot patrols by local officers.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific