Good news for Bideford police

Joseph Bulmer

Good news for Bideford police

POLICE in Bideford are extending their right to enforce dispersal orders which proved a success over the Christmas period.

The scheme allows officers to disperse groups from the town to prevent trouble before it becomes a serious matter.

Section 30 of the antisocial behaviour act allows police to ban a group of two or more people from the area for 24 hours after seeking permission from the local authority.

The other order allows officers to remove anyone over the age of 10 from the town for 48 hours.

Normally dispersal orders are only applied for over the Christmas period, but due to the success of the scheme it has been extended until March 31.

Neighbourhood team leader for Bideford, Paul Searle, said: “We use this strategy early in the evening to disperse potential causes of trouble; the earlier you use dispersal orders, the fewer problems we have later in the night.”

The dispersal orders are an effective way of preventing crime without having to resort to custody, which strains the force’s limited man-power.

Sector inspector for Torridge and West Devon, Shaun Kenneally, added: “We want to make sure everyone enjoys themselves on a night out.