More than 200 people congregating on the streets - causing misery for residents - were moved on by police in a period of just two hours in the first night of an ongoing crackdown.
Police in Sheffield mounted an operation in Page Hall, Fir Vale and Firth Park - and on the first night, Wednesday, counted more than 200 people in groups.
Local residents claim their lives are being blighted by migrants who have moved into their neighbourhoods and spend every hour of the day and night on the streets because they do not work.
They have reported rowdy behaviour, intimidation, noise, litter issues and brawls in recent weeks.
Inspector Simon Leake, of the North East Sheffield Safer Neighbourhood Team, said they had found ‘hundreds’ of people on the streets.
“On the first night we had officers on patrol until 1am because there were still a number of groups out at that time,” he said.
“There were hundreds of people on the streets. In one period alone - between 8pm and 10pm - we identified over 200 who we dispersed, which officers there day-in day-out tell me is not unusual. There are often more.”
He said one of the aims of the increased police presence was to enforce a Dispersal Order, which gives bobbies the right to split up groups of two or more people if they suspect they may cause anti-social behaviour.
Officers can ask them to leave the area for 24 hours - and anyone who returns before then risks prosecution.
Insp Leake said: “Most were compliant but we found they returned later on, because there was some misunderstanding around what the Dispersal Order means.
“There were some street wardens working with us who were able to translate for us to help us explain.”
A 15-year-old boy was issued a caution for possessing cannabis, two men were arrested for trying to steal a trampoline, and a 19-year-old man was issued with a fixed penalty notice for disorder for abusing a police officer as part of the crackdown.
While officers were on the streets they received reports of a row on Hampton Road, Fir Vale, litter and rowdy behaviour on Willoughby Street, Page Hall, and complaints about a teenage boy swearing at neighbours on Wade Street, Page Hall.
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