Six dispersal orders (Section 35) have been put in place in Bridgwater to help Police tackle anti-social behaviour in the town and one arrest has been made. Officers have been speaking to local shops about their concerns and working with partners to tackle the issues. Additional officers, including the mounted section, have been brought in to support patrols in the town centre and tackle the issue head on.
The orders follows reports of large groups of young people gathering and causing anti-social behaviour with instances of criminal damage, disorder and theft.
Dispersal Orders mean the police can ask anyone causing a problem to leave the area for a certain period of time. If they do not obey the order, they may be arrested.
Neighbourhood Manager, Inspector Andrew Pritchard said,
“With Bridgwater Fair taking place over the next few days, we want everyone in the community to feel safe to enjoy themselves in their local area. Any behaviour which causes damage or leaves people feeling harassed, alarmed or distressed has to be dealt with.
“The positive action by the police in Bridgwater aims to address concerns raised by the public, but we cannot do this alone. We value the support from the local community and businesses, who are our eyes and ears. We would like them to continue reporting areas of concern so that we can react.
“We will continue to monitor any issues raised; holding beat surgeries for local people to discuss their concerns, as well as continuing youth engagement as part of our work to address anti-social behaviour-related issues in Bridgwater.”
If you’re affected by anti-social behaviour get in touch with us through the website or via 101. Alternatively you can provide information anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In an emergency – if someone is at risk of getting hurt or property is being damaged and the suspect is still in the area, call 999.
You can find out more about tackling anti-social behaviour on Avon and Somerset Police advice page.