03:38PM, Tuesday 20 October 2020
A police inspector has spoken about the success of a dispersal order in Windsor Town Centre to tackle anti-social behaviour on a Sunday afternoon.
Inspector Tracey Croucher said a ‘small minority’ of young people were causing disruption in the town centre, deliberately going into shops without masks, intimidating staff and calling them racist names.
Two dispersal orders were put in place earlier this month for two consecutive Sundays on the 10th and 17th.
The order gives police extra powers to break up groups of two or more people where they believe their behaviour is causing a nuisance, harassment or distress.
Ins Croucher said: “It was very successful the first Sunday, community wardens working with us, the local authority, shift officers and neighbourhood officers all working together, COVID compliantly.
“We were able to identify some of the people in the group and take that back to their families to discuss it.
“Members of the public work closely with us through council reporting it to [town manager] Paul Roach and his team and we have CCTV.”
But to put an order in place the police must have specific intelligence.
Ins Croucher added: “You have to be working on intelligence, we can’t just be sticking them in place just in case we get some problems. They are used all over the Thames Valley, they are a common tool to use however they have to be driven by specific intelligence, we have to justify why we are doing them and be mindful of people’s human rights.
“Dispersal orders don’t mean nobody can gather in the town centre, if you are going shopping, meeting friends for coffee that is fine.”
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