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London teen fined after disturbance that led to dispersal zone in town

Colchester High Street. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Colchester High Street. Picture: SU ANDERSON

A London teenager has been fined for his involvement in a disturbance that led to a dispersal zone being drawn around part of Colchester town centre.

Khalid Mohamed, 18, of Summers Lane, North Finchley, was charged with threatening behaviour following a disturbance outside a Colchester nightclub.

A dispersal order was put in place to support tackling antisocial behaviour following the incident in the early hours of Saturday, February 17.

The order, which ran until 6.30pm the following Monday, gave police officers enhanced powers to reduce antisocial behaviour in defined areas.

Police applied for the additional powers following the disturbance, which involved people fighting and throwing bottles in High Street at about 3.25am.

Two people suffered minor cuts but no one was seriously hurt.

Mohamed failed to appear before magistrates in Colchester last Thursday, but the court proved the case in his absence and imposed a fine for using threatening or abusive words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.

Three magistrates, chaired by Robert Clubb, ordered Mohamed to pay £440 for the offence, as well as £85 in prosecution costs and a £44 statutory surcharge to fund victim services.

Following work with Colchester Borough Council, Essex Police successfully applied for a 48-hour dispersal order on the same day as the disturbance.

At the time, police said the incident involved a small number of men as people left a busy nightclub.

Officers put temporary road blocks in place, moving traffic away from the area in order to disperse a large group of people.

A dispersal order gives police officers the power to request anyone to leave the area if they have reasonable grounds to believe the person is harassing residents, or likely to be involved in crime or disorder.

Anyone who refuses to leave the area, once directed, can be arrested, and if convicted, they could face up to a three month prison sentence and a £2,500 fine.

More recently, at the beginning of last month, dispersal orders were put in place to deal with antisocial behaviour linked to groups of young people in Southend town centre.

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