Teens given dispersal orders in Pontefract after 'spike' in anti-social behaviour

Picture: Google.
Picture: Google.

Teenagers involved in "anti-social behaviour" have been taken to task in Pontefract after police used public order powers to disperse and then take them back to their parents.

The Pontefract Neighbourhood Policing Team took action following what officers describe as a recent spike in incidents in the Chequerfields area.

Officers used a dispersal order last weekend, targeting the area of Willow Park, Chequerfield Lane and surrounding area.

As a result, 11 directions to leave were issued on Saturday and all the under 16s involved were taken home to be spoken to in the company of their parents.

Inspector Paul Sullivan of Wakefield Police East, said: “We have received a number of complaints of anti-social behaviour in the Chequerfields area over the past few weeks and I want to make it very clear that this behaviour is absolutely unacceptable.

“Dispersal orders are not taken out lightly but in this situation we felt it was necessary to send a message to those involved.”

Most parents were supportive of police action and reinforced the instructions given by police, officers said.

Police again conducted high visibility patrols on the Sunday but did not to issue any further orders.

Dispersal powers give uniformed police and police community support officers (PCSOs) the power to disperse groups of two people or more, if they believe that their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in any member of the community being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed.

Insp Sullivan said: “I was pleased that we received support from parents on making them aware of their children’s behaviour and that there was no repeat of anti-social acts on Sunday.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation very closely and will take further action if problems continue.

“Those involved should be warned that we know who they are and if poor behaviour persists they could ultimately find themselves with criminal records.

“Anyone who has information about anti-social behaviour in the Chequerfields area or elsewhere in Pontefract is asked to contact the NPT on 101 or email us at pontefract@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk."