Extra powers to tackle crime in town centre

POLICE are aiming to crack down on anti-social behaviour in a Yorkshire town centre by putting a dispersal order in place, which comes into force tomorrow.

South Yorkshire Police and Barnsley Council have applied for an order to cover “key areas” of the town centre.

The new powers will enable police to disperse groups of two or more people from a specified area where there is “persistent” anti-social behaviour.

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It will also give police officers the power to take home any children aged under 16 who are in a dispersal zone after 9pm and are not accompanied by a responsible adult.

Lasting for six months, the new dispersal order will come into force tomorrow.

Inspector Julie Mitchell said: “Over the past few months, we have received numerous reports of nuisance caused by large groups congregating in the town centre.

“Barnsley Interchange has reported a number of nuisance behaviour incidents within their premises, and the County Way car park has been a regular venue for nuisance drivers late at night.

“Many interventions have been put in place, and although some measures have had some success, nuisance behaviour still persists on an almost daily basis.”

She added: “By dispersing those groups intent on engaging in poor behaviour, we will ensure Barnsley is a safer and stronger town for everyone else.“