Police granted powers to split up street gangs

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A dispersal order has been granted for the Fir Vale and Firth Park areas of Sheffield, giving police officers extra powers to split up groups on street corners in a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

It was granted after residents complained to South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Council about the behaviour of groups congregating on the streets.

The order gives police and police community support officers the right to split up groups of two or more people to reduce the risk of trouble.

Inspector Simon Leake, of the Sheffield North East Policing Team, said: “The communities have brought their concerns over a recent rise in anti-social behaviour and low level crime to the attention of their local police team.

“The actions of a few are affecting the majority.

“The local police team are working in partnership to provide long-term solutions to the problems highlighted. To assist with this objective, we have successfully applied for a Section 30 Dispersal Order. This grants us the ability to break up groups of people likely to be causing the residents’ problems and take them home.

“This power will be used firmly but fairly for the good of the majority.

“The order comes into force on August 12 and will cease on November 17.”

Failure to leave the area if directed by the police could land offenders in court.

People can be ordered to leave the area for 24 hours at a time in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour.