Reports of a curfew banning all under-16s from Barnsley town centre after 9pm have been refuted as “nonsense”.
Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis said much misinformation had been spread about the six-month dispersal order, which came into force on Friday.
“There has been a lot of nonsense talked about this,” he said.
“We can’t get into a situation where we say just because you are 15 and 11 months you can’t come into the town centre. That is ridiculous and would send a very worrying message to young people about the level of trust being placed in them – but that is not what is being done here.”
Authorities in the town said the order would not act as a blanket ban on unaccompanied under-16s and would be used only to move on those causing trouble.
Barnsley Council said the measure was a “low key intervention” to reduce anti-social behaviour.
Inspector Julie Mitchell, of South Yorkshire Police, added: “The order is not intended to be applied without discretion. We want residents and visitors to come into the town centre for retail and leisure.”