Released on 25 April 2005 News
Next week sees the introduction of measures to control anti-social behaviour in Stratford-upon-Avon. From 1 May Stratford Police are to use new powers to break up groups of drunks who congregate on the town's Waterside near the Bancroft Basin and the Recreation Ground.
The powers are part of a package of measures devised by Stratford-on-Avon District Council, the police, and Town Management Partnership to address anti-social behaviour in this part of the town. As well as the Dispersal Order, the profile of the existing Alcohol Restriction Area will be raised and surveillance of the area will be enhanced. The lighting and landscaping of the Basin area is being examined to make sure that the CCTV coverage is fully effective.
"Using the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, we can impose a Dispersal Order if the council and police are satisfied that members of the public are being harassed, alarmed or intimidated by the presence or behaviour of a group of two or more people," explained Steve Newman, Stratford District Council's policy officer responsible for the scheme.
"The Order allows the police to instruct people in a group to leave the area and not to return for up to 24 hours. It has been used successfully in other parts of the district, including Studley and Shipston. "
The Dispersal Order applies to the Bancroft Gardens, Waterside, Theatre Gardens and Recreation Ground and will be in place from 1 May to 31 October. If a person remains in or returns to the area after being asked to leave, they may be arrested.
"Visitors and residents who come into the town are greeted by the group who are often seen swearing, drinking and acting in a generally anti-social way" said Sgt Emma Walton, the community police team manager for Stratford town centre.
"We have also noticed an increase in the number of incidents of rowdiness, usually involving groups of young men and alcohol, on the Recreation Ground. We need to send a message that behaviour which goes beyond normal high spirits isn't acceptable and that Stratford is still the safest place for anyone to visit."