Thurrock “Teenage Lockdown” Continues

TWO new dispersal zones in South Ockendon saw 41 people told to leave the areas by police.

Derwent Parade and Aire Drive each have a dispersal zone in place after they came into effect on Monday, October 26. The powers allow police to issue groups of two or more with a warning to leave the area for 24-hours. If they return before that time, they can be arrested under section 32 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.

The dispersal powers, in place for a period of six months, also give police the power to take children under the age of 16 home if they are out past 9pm.

Derwent Parade has already seen police issue 44 warnings to leave the area and two arrests after two people returned to the area after first being warned not to. On Halloween alone, 25 people were issued with warnings, with one of the two arrests also happening that night.

In Aire Drive 16 people have been given a warning to leave the area, seven of which were on Halloween.

Sgt Natalia Ross said: “These are already very pleasing results, and the fact we have only had two arrests out of 60 means that the message is really getting through. Anti-social behaviour affects the whole community, and we will not have groups spoiling the area and reducing residents’ quality of life.

“It was very effective to have the dispersal powers on Halloween, and the results have proved that it worked to stop people causing a nuisance in these areas over the festive period.”

A 16-year-old boy from the area was arrested in Derwent Parade on Thursday, October 29, and was charged with knowingly contravening a direction to leave. He was released on bail prior to his appearance at Basildon Magistrates Court on Friday, November 6.

A 14-year-old boy from the area was arrested on Saturday, October 31, and was also charged with knowingly contravening a direction to leave. He has been released on bail prior to his appearance at Grays Youth Court on Friday, November 13.

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