Dispersal order introduced to Romford town centre

A six-month dispersal order is to be slapped on central Romford in a crackdown by Havering authorities on antisocial behaviour.

The firewall around the town centre - encompassing St Edwards Way, Main Road, Junction Road, Western Road, Mercury Gardens, Thurloe Gardens, Oldchurch Road, and Waterloo Road – will be introduced in time for Halloween.

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It will allow Havering Police to tell people in a group to disperse; tell people who don’t live in the area to leave, and tell people who don’t live in the area not to return for a specific time.

Havering Police boss Chief Superintendant Mick Smith said: “The introduction of a dispersal order in our town centre will help us to ensure that the small minority which behave antisocially cannot spoil the enjoyment of the rest of us. This shows a measure of the levels of management we will take to make sure that we do all that we can to ensure that this remains a safe and secure destination of choice.

“This dispersal order will allow my officers and staff to disperse those youths who may be attending the town centre purely with the aim of being antisocial.

“As the majority of these youths are not consuming alcohol previous legation used is not always applicable.”

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Contravention is punishable by up to three months in prison and/or a maximum �2,500 fine.

Sgt Neal Donohoe, from Romford Town Centre team, added: “Youths that are congregating, causing inconvenience to visitors and residents and being antisocial but not criminal can - under this dispersal order - be asked to leave the town centre for a period of 24 hours.

Cheryl Coppell, chief executive of Havering Council, said: “We want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate antisocial behaviour by anyone. “Teenagers enjoying the town centre will not be targeted – it will only be used to move on people creating a nuisance or causing alarm or distress to others.

“This new power allows the police to ban troublemakers who aren’t drinking – something they have not had in the past.”

The dispersal order will run from Monday October 1 til March 30 next year.