Police powered up to deal with louts

POLICE have been given extra powers to deal with young hoodlums in a troubled part of Weston. Long-running loutish behaviour and high-jinx by youngsters in the Maltlands area has not been dampened by extra policing. Recently, Tesco Express had to close it

POLICE have been given extra powers to deal with young hoodlums in a troubled part of Weston.Long-running loutish behaviour and high-jinx by youngsters in the Maltlands area has not been dampened by extra policing.Recently, Tesco Express had to close its doors temporarily after a gang of teenagers started stuffing their pockets and bags with alcohol and shouting abuse at customers.Now police and council chiefs have approved a dispersal order for the Maltlands. Officers will now be able to move on groups of troublemakers from any part of what is known as the Railway Triangle.Any outside resident returning within 24 hours can be arrested and will face a maximum three months prison sentence and or £5,000 fine. The order will be in force until December 31.Anti-social behaviour officer Terry Crees said: "It is sad that we have to resort to what some might call heavy handedness. However, other policing tactics have not worked and we are determined to rid the community of this problem."Over the last month or so there have been serious behaviour issues in the area, including graffiti, abuse and intimidation of residents, torn up shrubs and smashed glass."We've been giving it high profile policing, but we are still getting upwards of 60 youths there, mainly on Friday night, and many have been drunk."The Friday before last the police got 19 calls from the area about youth disturbances."The problems centre around the area's park, but also the footpaths leading off it. People are fed up and frightened to use what would otherwise be a nice facility."We appeal to parents that when children arrive home suffering from the effects of alcohol, they need to find out where they were and what they have been doing, because they may end up being dealt with by the police.


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