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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 07:09 GMT
Police to target estate's gangs
Police talk to youths
Dispersal zones mean teenagers can be ordered out of the area
Teenage gangs making life a misery for residents on a Flintshire housing estate face tough new police measures.

From Friday, a dispersal order will be in place on the Sealand Manor estate on Deeside.

It means police can order youths suspected of being involved in anti-social behaviour to leave the area - or face arrest.

"The police, local residents and partner agencies have had enough," said Insp Darren Wareing.

"Together we are determined to rid the estate of this problem and put solutions in place to support the community as a whole.

"I am confident that the powers the legislation brings, together with a range of other initiatives we are running, will bring an end to a problem that has blighted the community for a while."

There's vandalism, hooliganism, and the children run riot at the moment
Shelley Webber, resident

Insp Wareing said it was clear that a number of young people on the estate have what he described as "a total disregard for their community".

"Anti-social behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated," he added.

"Over the past six months, incidents of anti-social behaviour in Sealand Manor have been responsible for over 50% of all reported crime.

"Analysis shows that most offences are committed by juveniles aged 17 years or under."

Dispersal orders were first introduced in 2004.

It gives power to officers to forcibly return under-16s to their homes if they are out on the streets after 9pm and unaccompanied by an adult.

A dispersal zone can be as small as an area around a telephone kiosk, or as large as an entire estate, as in the case of Sealand Manor.

Vandalism

It is the second time a dispersal order has been put in place on the 120 house estate, and residents are welcoming the return of the measure.

"There's vandalism, hooliganism, and the children run riot at the moment, generally misbehaving," said Shelley Webber, from the Sealand Manor Residents Association.

"People don't want to be living in fear of the kids next door."

Mrs Webber said the dispersal order has the backing of the community, and helped cut anti-social behaviour the last time it was tried.

"The residents as a whole are standing up for themselves with this. They realise they have to take a stance," she added.



SEE ALSO
Police given power to move gangs
24 May 06 |  South West Wales
Two arrests in gang crackdown
22 Nov 05 |  North East Wales

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