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28 September 2018, 11:49 | Updated: 28 September 2018, 11:51
Police have issued 11 injunctions after reports of gang related behaviour in Newton Abbot.
Operation Turf is designed to try and stamp out anti-social behaviour in the town.
It is the first time court injunctions have been used within Devon and Cornwall and comes after residents and local agencies raised their concerns.
The injunctions last for up to two years and carry conditions such as exclusion zones and communication guidelines.
If the conditions are broken the court can issue a prison sentence of up to three months for under 18’s and two years for people over 18.
Superintendent Jez Capey said: “Our primary aim is to safeguard the children involved, engage them in positive activities and prevent the escalation of gang related activity.
“We are working with partner agencies to implement the injunctions and look at the ways to move forward and prevent this behaviour in the future.
“This is the first time that this civil legislation has been used by Devon and Cornwall Police, which reiterates that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez praised police officers who had worked on the operation.
“This is the first time Devon and Cornwall Police has used civil legislation to bring down a gang of young people who were terrorising” said Ms Hernandez.
“I hope it won’t be the last and it should send out a message to young people, and to parents, that police will look at all available methods to make our communities safer for the majority.”
Teignbridge’s Leader Cllr Jeremy Christophers said: “We have been working closely with police and other partners to address the behaviour of these children and young people, and are confident that these Injunctions will serve to protect the community whilst safeguarding those young people involved.”