Dispersal order enforced in Romford as crime increases

Dispersal order active in Romford

The order applies to the town centre, including the Romford Ring Road, Union Estate, Mercury Mall, Cottons Park and Waterloo Estate Environs - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Romford has been made subject to a dispersal order due to an increase in town centre crime.

The order - which began at 10am this morning, May 12 - will last until 9.59am on Saturday (May 14).

It permits police officers and PCSOs to exclude people from parts of the town centre if they have "reasonable grounds" for believing they are likely to contribute to crime in the area.

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.

Authorised by inspector David Holgate, the measure has been imposed because of concerns over the day and night-time economy.

Greater footfall in the town centre during the day has led to an increase in shoplifting, aggressive begging and youth violence.

There has also been a greater incidence of alcohol and drug offences at night.

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According to the public notice, this order has been introduced to "prevent further incidents and protect public".

There have been at least two other such orders this year; one between February 16 and 18, the other over a weekend in late March.

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