Dispersal orders 'a success'

MORE than 30 people have been moved on and two others arrested in the first fortnight of Ipswich's third dispersal order, it was revealed today.The move, targeted on Freehold Road and its surrounding area, has been hailed a success by residents and police.

MORE than 30 people have been moved on and two others arrested in the first fortnight of Ipswich's third dispersal order, it was revealed today.

The move, targeted on Freehold Road and its surrounding area, has been hailed a success by residents and police.

It gives officers the power to disperse anti-social groups in a bid to crackdown on trouble that has blighted the community.

Acting superintendent Chris Mayhew said it had been "very busy" in the first days, although it was now significantly quieter.

He said: "In general, the dispersal order has been well received by residents and shop keepers.

"We feel the dispersal order has been a success and it will be reviewed on a month-to-month basis to see if this needs to be continued."

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He said work was under way, along with the borough and county councils, to improve opportunities for youngsters in the area.

One resident said the community was considering raising money to help with this, despite the youngsters being at the core of the trouble.

The resident, who spearheaded a petition calling for the dispersal order, said: "I am willing to help them. We want to do something to try to get somewhere for them to go."

She said the dispersal order had largely been a success and hoped it would make parents take more responsibility for their children.

"Before, the police couldn't arrest the kids or give them a warning but now they have come out and put their foot down," she said.

"Parents are starting to be more aware of how bad the situation is. There have been a couple of bad nights, but otherwise it has been quite good.

"It is nice to be able to go to sleep without worrying if you are going to have brick through your window."

Another resident, who also declined to be named, said: "People do want to get behind the order and sort things out.

"The police presence has been reassuring."

Two other dispersal orders, introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, in Reynolds Road and Queen's Way have been extended. Introduced in September, they were due to expire this month.

Acting Supt Mayhew said: "We have had the support of residents and businesses. Although the past six months have been successful, with improvements particularly in the Queen's Way area, there are still a small core group of youths who continue to persist in causing problems."

Has the order been a success? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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