Nuisance youths targeted by police

TEENAGERS causing a nuisance near a major leisure facility have become potential subjects of special police powers, it has been announced.Bad language and the intimidation of customers at Colchester's Megabowl have become such a problem that the local council has agreed to grant police a dispersal order.

TEENAGERS causing a nuisance near a major leisure facility have become potential subjects of special police powers, it has been announced.

Bad language and the intimidation of customers at Colchester's Megabowl have become such a problem that the local council has agreed to grant police a dispersal order.

It will come into force on Monday March 14 and will cover all the roads within an area from Cowdray Avenue to the north and east, North Station Road to the west, and the River Colne.

The order will give police the power to move on groups of two or more people congregating in a public place if their conduct gives rise to concern.


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If they live in the area, they can be instructed to go home or, if they live elsewhere, to leave the area and not return within 24 hours.

Colchester Community Beat Officer, Pc Claire Lendon, said: "This is another case of a small minority of badly behaved people adversely affecting the majority who simply want to enjoy the facilities at Megabowl.

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"We have families, often with very young children, attending the premises and their visits are being ruined by the appalling behaviour of this small group of youths.

"Staff members also feel unsafe and this situation cannot be allowed to continue.

"We will robustly enforce this dispersal order and we intend to positively improve the situation so that Megabowl is once again a pleasant place to visit."

Children aged under 16 who are out between 9pm and 6am can be taken home by police if this is felt necessary.

Non-compliance with the order is an arrestable offence and could lead to prosecution.

Last night a spokesman for Colchester Megabowl said: "We are very pleased and fully support the police in this."

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