Help police stop nuisance youths

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 January 2011

Emergency Police Services

Emergency Police Services

Archant

Exmouth police are appealing for public help to gain greater powers to break up nuisance gangs of youths. The Section 30 Order will allow officers to disperse and ban youths.

The police are appealing for help tackling anti-social behaviour in Exmouth town centre.

Officers are asking the public to be the ears and eyes of the community in a bid to stamp out gangs of youths causing trouble in The Strand and town centre.

The police said they are powerless to act against troublemakers unless they have evidence to act – and are appealing to the public to immediately report any nuisance behaviour.

Officers are keen to apply to the courts for powers allowing police to break up groups of youths and ban them from returning for up to 24 hours.

The appeal for help comes after an increase in anti-social behaviour in the town area.

Exmouth police said the problem intensified during the cold snap.

Groups of nuisance youths have been reported in the Rolle Street bus shelter, the Magnolia Centre, and the Marine Way subway.

In a bid to stamp out the problem, officers have stepped up patrols and the situation is being monitored by Inspector Capey.

Exmouth police neighbourhood team leader Sergeant Nick Southern said applying for a Section 30 Order relied on public help if it was to be successful.

Sgt Southern said: “We need evidence to show the court why it’s necessary. If we haven’t got the evidence, it weakens the case.”

Town centre police community support officer Colin Balch said: “Response officers are aware and have been tasked to move on any groups of people found gathering in the subway area and take their names and other details.

“As a result of these action and finding that most of the problems are being caused by regular names we have issued thirteen 1st letters and two 2nd letters in the Anti Social Behaviour process.

“We take all reports of anti-social behaviour seriously and would urge the public to report any sightings to us.”

The police said first letters are sent to warn culprits their behaviour is unacceptable and further measures will be taken if it continues. This is followed by an acceptable behaviour contract if the trouble continues.

The third step is for police to apply to the courts for an anti-social behaviour order.

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