Page last updated at 05:53 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 06:53 UK

Police target gangs of drinkers

Police talk to youths
Dispersal zones mean gangs can be ordered out of a specific area

Gangs of drinkers who police suspect may harass people or cause disorder will be targeted under new measures being introduced in a town.

A dispersal order has been granted for Morley Road gardens and the areas surrounding the railway station in Rhyl, Denbighshire.

It will give police powers to move on congregating groups of people whose behaviour may appear threatening.

Those who ignore the order could face three months in jail or a £2,500 fine.

Posters are being put up in the area to highlight the order, which starts on Tuesday and will be in place for six months until next March.

Steve Williams, district inspector for North Denbighshire, said the order aimed to target behaviour that left the community feeling "frightened".

As a result of this behaviour people feel frightened and discouraged from using these areas
Insp Steve Williams

"North Wales Police are actively working with the local authority to address the growing problem of public drinkers in Rhyl who collect mainly in the Morley Road Memorial Gardens and by the railway arches," he said.

"As a result of this behaviour people feel frightened and discouraged from using these areas because they feel threatened by the actions and behaviour of a few.

"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, for a while, blighted the area."

Dispersal orders were first introduced in 2004.

They allow officers to move on people in the group from the designated area immediately or within a specified time limit.

They also give 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.



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