Local police and the Council have taken an important palliative measure to combat low level anti social behaviour. Neighbour Lisa Tang has alerted me to the new 'dispersal zone' map. This gives police stringent powers to stop people, especially young people hanging about in large groups.
The area covered is in the graphic left but basically East of York Way, South of Bingfield Street, South of Richmond Avenue, West of Barnsbury Road, North of Copenhagen Street and North of Regents Canal.
Dispersal zones are handy to deal with a chronic problem in the area – large groups of young people who can get out of hand. Having had bricks thrown at me from very close range by groups of young people in the past i sympathise with the folk who live here – if they still taught cricket in schools i wouldn't be alive today. It is important to deal with. But dispersal zones are only palliative – they treat the symptoms of a wider problem – the lack of a structured, long term intervention by the Council in the area to give young people things to do in a deprived neighbourhood.
Local charitable groups such as CYP, Sparkplug, Prospex and Crumbles Castle plug huge gaps left by inadequate Council services. But they only get month to month funding inhibiting their long term growth and stability. The real long term answer to combat issues with local young people is long term core funding by the council of local youth groups to provide high capacity interventions to give large numbers of young people other options than hanging about on street corners.
Text extracts from text of dispersal order follows:
From 0630 hours on 27th April 2009
To 0630 hours on 27th July 2009
During the times and dates specified above a Constable/PCSO may give one or more of the following directions:
Tell people in the group to leave the area (either immediately or at a stated time and in a stated way).
Tell people who don’t live in the area to leave (either immediately or at a stated time and in a stated way).
Tell people who don’t live in the area not to return to the area or any part of it for such period (not exceeding 24 hours) from when the direction was given, as he/she may specify.
If you are under 16 you are not allowed to be here between the hours of 9pm and 6am unless you are under the effective control of a parent or responsible person over the age of 18. You may be removed to your home or place of safety if more appropriate.