Romford facing second dispersal order in six weeks following crime surge

Dispersal order in Romford town centre from 3pm today - March 26 - until 2.59pm on March 28

A s35 dispersal order has been authorised for Romford Town Centre for 48 hours, starting from 3pm today (March 26) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Romford is facing a second dispersal order in less than six weeks due to a "noticeable increase" in crime and disorder.

From 3pm this afternoon - Saturday, March 26 - police officers and PCSOs will be allowed to exclude people from parts of Romford town centre for 48 hours.

The order applies to Romford Ring Road, Union Estate, Mercury Mall, Cottons Park, Waterloo Estate Environs and all underpasses and thoroughfares within the ring road.

It has been sanctioned because there has been a recent surge in offending in these areas, both during the day and at night.

Recent weekends have seen reports of GBH, sexual offences and drunk and disorderly incidents.

To remove a person under this order, the officer must have "reasonable grounds" for believing they are likely to contribute to crime in the area.

An identical order was in place between February 16 and 18 due to similar concerns.

A longer-term dispersal order was in place during August last year.

Such orders are permissible under section 35 of the anti-social behaviour, crime and policing act 2014.