Wimbledon Town Centre - dispersal zone

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The current Dispersal Zone expires 30th April 2009. The police have accumulated evidence to re-apply for the Dispersal Zone to run for another 6 months. The application has been approved for consultation at the Joint Tasking Group held on 4th March 2009.

In Wimbledon town centre the anti-social behaviour incidents are very much clustered around the train station and Centre Court shopping centre, extending along the Broadway and Hartfield Road. The area still remains the borough's hotspot for crime and anti-social behaviour calls to police. (For further information on crime statistics, please contact Sgt Tony Oram, Hillside Safer Neighbourhood Team, on 020 8721 2458 or tony.oram@met.police.uk)

The Police are consulting to obtain opinions of implementing a new DZ for Wimbledon town centre. This consultation group includes councillors responsible for residents of Wimbledon, secondary schools within Wimbledon, representatives in council departments such as Education, Housing & Environment and local community groups.

About Dispersal Zones Part 4 (sections 30-36) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, gives the police, working with local authorities, powers to designate an area where they can disperse groups if a senior officer has reasonable grounds for believing that their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in a member of the public being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed. The purpose of the legislation is to prevent people from feeling frightened and discouraged from using public places because they feel threatened by the actions and behaviour of groups of people.

The legislation is also intended to protect children and young people from the risks of being unaccompanied on the streets late at night with the attendant risk of older peers encouraging them into criminal activities. Within designated areas the police and police community support officers (PCSO’s) have the power to: Disperse groups of two or more persons where it is believed that their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in a member of the public from being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed. Individuals can be directed to leave the locality and may be excluded from the area for up to 24 hours. This is not a curfew and the power to disperse groups can only be used when anti-social behaviour is committed (or likely to be committed). A refusal to follow the officer's directions to disperse is a summary offence. The penalty on conviction for this offence is a fine and/or a maximum of three months' imprisonment (for adults).

Anti-social behaviour is defined in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as “behaviour by a person that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons who are not of the same household as the person”. In the Safer Merton Anti-Social Behaviour strategy, it is explained as "...a manner of behaviour, whether or not in itself criminal, which causes disturbance, distress, harm or fear that significantly impacts on quality of life for local people...” Post any comments on this message board by 23rd April and we will forward to the Police on 24 April 2009.

Public Consultation for new application for a Dispersal Zone (DZ) in Wimbledon Town Centre
Parts of Wimbledon town centre are currently covered by a dispersal zone. The current Dispersal Zone expires 30th April 2010. The police propose to renew this to run from 30th April 2010 to 29th October 2010.

The Area
Trinity Rd jct with Princes Rd. Montague Rd jct with Pelham Rd. Pelham Rd jct with Gladstone Rd. Gladstone Rd to Bertram Cottages. Hartfield Rd from Bertram Cottages to Wimbledon Bridge. Wimbledon Bridge to Francis Grove, border of railway track incl Merton Council Car park (right hand side ground and upper level) and alleyway. Francis Rd to St George’s Rd. St George’s Rd to Alexandra Rd, level with the rear of Centre Court car park. Queens Rd to junction of Princes Rd. Princes Rd to jct with Trinity Rd (as shown in the map at the end of this email, the area is outlined in blue )

Evidence
The police have accumulated evidence to re-apply for the Dispersal Zone to run for another 6 months. The application has been approved for consultation by the Joint Tasking Group on 13th April 2010. The Joint Tasking Group is a multi-agency problem solving forum made up of the council departments such as Youth Services, Education, Community Engagement, Neighbourhood Wardens, CCTV, and other agencies such as the police and London Fire Brigade.

In Wimbledon town centre the anti-social behaviour incidents are very much clustered around the train station and Centre Court shopping centre, extending along the Broadway, Hartfield Road and adjoining roads. The area still remains the borough’s hotspot for crime and anti-social behaviour calls to police.

(For further information on crime statistics, please contact Sector Inspector Jim Cook on 020 8649 4021 or by email to jimcook@met.police.uk)

About Dispersal Zones
Part 4 (sections 30-36) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, gives the police, working with local authorities, powers to designate an area where they can disperse groups if a senior officer has reasonable grounds for believing that their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in a member of the public being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed.

The purpose of the legislation is to prevent people from feeling frightened and discouraged from using public places because they feel threatened by the actions and behaviour of groups of people.

The legislation is also intended to protect children and young people from the risks of being unaccompanied on the streets late at night with the attendant risk of older peers encouraging them into criminal activities.

Within designated areas the police and police community support officers (PCSO’s) have the power to:
Disperse groups of two or more persons where it is believed that their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in a member of the public from being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed. Individuals can be directed to leave the locality and may be excluded from the area for up to 24 hours.

Please note – this is not a curfew and the power to disperse groups of people of any age can only be used when anti-social behaviour is being committed (or likely to be committed).

A refusal to follow the officer’s directions to disperse is a summary offence. The penalty on conviction for this offence is a fine and/or a maximum of three months’ imprisonment (for adults).

Anti-social behaviour is defined in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as “behaviour by a person that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons who are not of the same household as the person”. In the Safer Merton Anti-Social Behaviour strategy, it is explained as “…a manner of behaviour, whether or not in itself criminal, which causes disturbance, distress, harm or fear that significantly impacts on quality of life for local people…”

I would be grateful for your opinion on this proposal by 5pm on 27th April 2010.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards

Claire

Claire Cuffie
Anti Social Behaviour Supervisor
Safer Merton
Environment & Regeneration

Merton Council – Putting You First

T: 0208 274 5972
Mobile: 07903-440-936
24hour Reporting Line: 020 8274 4907
Fax: 0208 545 3661 Minicom: 0208 545 3222 Email: claire.cuffie@merton.gov.uk Web: www.merton.gov.uk Address: Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM5 5DX

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