New powers for police to tackle yobs in city centre

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Police have been given new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in areas of York where residents’ lives have been blighted by street drinking and fighting.

An order is now in place which gives police the powers to disperse people whose behaviour is intimidating or causing distress to people in the Stonebow, Colliergate and St Saviourgate areas of the city.

It gives police powers to disperse groups of two or more people whose behaviour is intimidating or causing distress to people between 9pm and 6am. If they breach the order, they could be jailed for up to three months or fined up to £5,000, or both.

Temporary Supt Phil Cain, of York Safer Neighbourhood Command, said: “The area covered by the dispersal order has suffered from street drinking, fighting and general anti-social behaviour over the past few years.

“Local residents care deeply about their neighbourhood and are rightly proud of their city. It is on their behalf that we have worked together with the City of York Council to establish the new powers with the aim of improving the quality of life for everyone who lives, works or visits our fabulous city.”

The dispersal order will run for six months.

York Council’s cabinet member for crime and stronger communities, Coun Linsay Cunningham-Cross, said: “We believe it will provide an effective tool for dealing with anti-social behaviour in this part of the city.

“We are also considering additional measures including targeted support for street drinkers, to ensure we are not merely moving the problem from one part of the city to another.”