POLICE have been granted extra powers to tackle trouble-makers after a rise in complaints about anti-social behaviour in Killamarsh.
A Dispersal Order has been introduced which gives officers the right to split up groups of two or more they find congregating on the streets.
The order is aimed at those causing trouble or deemed at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour.
The decision to introduce the order as made by Derbyshire Police and North East Derbyshire Council, in response to community concerns and an increase in reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.
There were 526 reports between last April and January, compared to 426 over the same period the previous year.
Anyone who ignores police officers asking them to move on could be arrested – and is at risk of three months in prison or a fine of £2,500.
Residents have told police of concerns about large groups gathering on the streets, using abusive language, causing damage and committing anti-social behaviour around Killamarsh Community Campus, Stanley Street, the ALDI construction site, Cherry Tree Drive, and near the Bull and Badger car park.
Police patrols have been stepped up and funding for activities to try to keep people out of trouble has been provided by the North East Derbyshire Community Safety Partnership.
Free football coaching at Killamarsh Sports Centre on Friday nights is one of the activities arranged.
Insp Glenn Hoggard, who is in charge of policing in the North East Derbyshire area, said: “Residents and businesses in the area have told us anti-social behaviour is a concern and we are determined to target this and make a difference to the local community.
“Dispersal orders have been used as an effective tool in helping to reduce the unacceptable behaviour of a minority and we are keen to emphasise it will only affect those who are behaving irresponsibly.”
Coun Lillian Robinson, North East Derbyshire community safety partnership chairman, said: “We hope this order, with the co-operation of local people, will help keep the area safe and see a reduction of incidents of anti-social behaviour.
“We hope its introduction demonstrates we will use all available tools and powers at our disposal to do so .”
The Dispersal Order will run until Thursday, August 8, when a review will take place.