Crackdown on anti-social behaviour

TOUGH action has been taken by the police to deal with anti-social behaviour in an area of Colchester where a large number of people regularly congregate and drink alcohol.

TOUGH action has been taken by the police to deal with anti-social behaviour in an area of Colchester where a large number of people regularly congregate and drink alcohol.

Two unemployed men, aged 40 and 34, have been charged on suspicion of affray following an incident at St Botolph’s Circus and a third man, aged 38, was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Insp Adrian Dearsley, from the Colchester’s neighbourhood police team, said: “I’m delighted that these men have been charged and hope it sends a strong message to any other individuals who think it is acceptable to be involved in this sort of behaviour that they are just not welcome in our town.

“This issue is high on our priority list and we’re well aware of how intimidating and unpleasant it must be for any passers-by. We deal with the group on a daily basis and we know what times they are likely to be there so have built this into our patrol routes.


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“We confiscate alcohol from them and move them along wherever possible. We are also looking at a number of long-term solutions which we hope will get a grip of this problem.”

Tim Young, who is responsible for community safety on Colchester Borough Council, said: “This is an ongoing problem with no short-term solution. Many of these people are homeless and if you move them on they will just congregate somewhere else.

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“There is a core element that regularly meets in the subway of St Botolph’s Circus, but the number varies between about 12 and 20 people.

“The police and wardens have got to know them and their problems and are trying to offer support, but they have to want to take it.

“A few months ago they were congregating at St Botolph’s Priory, but they were moved on because we are trying to make the area more appealing to tourists. Whereever they go it will be a problem.”

Two men were charged with affray on Tuesday, for an incident which happened on August 25, and will appear at Colchester Magistrates Court on October 21. They have been bailed on the condition that they cannot enter St Botolph’s Circus, Magdalen Street, Cromwell Road, Portland Road and Shrubland Road.

A third man, aged 38, was arrested on suspicion of assault and returns to court today.

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