Postcode gangs face crackdown

gang2CL:'Jonathan Matondo
gang2CL:'Jonathan Matondo
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GROUPS gathering on the streets of a Sheffield suburb plagued by postcode gangs will be split by police and arrested if they refuse to move on.

A Dispersal Order has been issued for Burngreave in a bid to prevent youths congregating on the streets and causing anti-social behaviour.

South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Council have agreed for the order to run for six months, meaning any police officer or police community support officer with concerns about the behaviour of groups can split them up.

Those who ignore the police requests can be arrested.

Burngreave and neighbouring Pitsmoor have suffered from gang-related problems over recent years, with a number of shooting incidents blamed on gang rivalries, including the deaths of Jonathan Matondo, aged 16 and Tarek Chaiboub, 17.Dispersal Orders, granted under Section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, allow police to move on groups of two or more people, of any age, if officers believe that their presence is resulting in or likely to result in members of the community being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed.

They give police officers the right to take anyone under the age of 16 back home or to a place of safety if they are found on the streets unsupervised after 9pm.

Acting Inspector Craig Charlesworth, of the Burngreave Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “The issue of a section 30 order is not one taken lightly as it restricts the gathering of youths in the areas where the notice applies. These powers allow the police to take action against a minority of people who intimidate and cause distress to others by behaving antisocially.”