Havering College insists on ‘zero tolerance’ to violence in wake of dispersal orders

The Ardleigh Green campus of Havering College. Picture: Isabel Infantes

The Ardleigh Green campus of Havering College. Picture: Isabel Infantes - Credit: Isabel Infantes

Following two dispersal orders in less than a month at Havering College, the principal has said the college has invested in more neighbourhood patrol staff as well as to expect a continued police presence in the vicinity.

The first dispersal order, which gives police the authority to force anyone causing trouble to leave a specific area, was put into place for two days on October 20 at the Ardleigh Green campus, which stemmed from “three females having a verbal disagreement,” according to principal Paul Wakeling.

The second was in place was for three days last week (November 11 to 13) after reports of “several fights inside and outside of the college and surrounding areas,” according to Met Police.

The college insists that there hasn’t been a rise in knife crime and fighting however they are “concerned about incidents in the local area.”

Mr Wakeling said: “We take our students’ safety incredibly seriously and have extremely high expectations of student conduct. The dispersal order in place on October 20 for 48 hours was the result of a large number of people, many who were not college students coming into the local area.

“We welcome the pro-active police activity and we are working closely with them to keep our students safe, including using drugs dogs and knife arches.

He added that the college has now invested in extra staff to patrol the neighbourhood and has a zero tolerance approach to violence and anti-social behaviour but admitted that there had been some recent incidents where “very few” students has been involved, who are now expelled.

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“We have also been an active partner in Operation Riverside along with a number of local schools, which has helped to support the safety of young people across the whole community. Two weeks ago we welcomed a police team who undertook a safety exercise on campus and we are delighted, but not surprised, to report that they found nothing untoward.

“Due to this excellent relationship with the police and our joint commitment to a positive and safe environment, students and neighbouring residents will continue to see officers around the community and on campus, and we will continue to always help the police to keep the local area safe.”