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27 August 2014, 06:56
Police have issued a five-month long dispersal order for a recreational area in Wisbech, in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The order, which came into effect on August 22 and will last until January 18, 2015, covers the area known as the Spinney, in Waterlees.
Police officers and PCSOs now have the power to disperse groups of people - banning them from the area for up to 24 hours - and take under-16s home between the hours of 9pm and 6am.
Chief Inspector Mike Hills said: "There have been numerous complaints and incidents of street-based anti-social behaviour caused by large groups of youths who congregate in this area, many are drinking alcohol and being generally abusive towards members of the public and shop staff.
"Staff and shoppers have been alarmed and intimidated by these youths and have been subjected to abuse, noise and litter nuisance from some groups. There have also been a number of incidents of criminal damage and vandalism.
"We take anti-social behaviour very seriously as it can have a detrimental effect on individuals' lives and impact the wider community.
"Anyone who sees someone acting in an anti-social manner should 101."
In the three-month period from May 1, there were 33 incidents of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage or violence reported in the area.
Fenland District Councillor Virginia Bucknor said: "Waterlees residents have been subjected to appalling anti-social behaviour by a small minority of people over a sustained period.
"This dispersal order enables the police to take positive action, particularly towards those who have been coming into the area from elsewhere to target vulnerable residents."