LEYTONSTONE / WANSTEAD: Police to remove 'anti-social' groups during Olympics

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: A map of the dispersal zone. A map of the dispersal zone.

POLICE are being given powers to move on gatherings of just two people during the Olympic Games period.

The dispersal order zone, which covers almost all of Leytonstone to the east of the A12, Wanstead Flats and Blake Hall Road, is being introduce at 12 noon tomorrow (Tuesday June 26).

Under the new regulations, officers will be able to order groups of two or more people suspected of carrying out anti-social behaviour to leave the area for 24 hours.

Youngsters age under 16 caught in the zone after 9pm will also potentially be escorted home by officers if they are not accompanied by an adult.

The order will expire on Tuesday November 20.

It comes after police said in January that a gang were using the cover of Wanstead Flats to carry out a spate of muggings in the region.

Police say that such zones help cut crime but critics believe the orders move anti-social behaviour to other neighbouring areas instead.

A Met spokesman admitted that previous dispersal orders in the area had transferred problems to other areas, but said the force hoped it would not happen this time.

He said: "Dispersal zones have been used widely across Waltham Forest to address anti-social behaviour.

"The Olympics was a consideration for the dispersal zone but this is not the primary reason for the implementation of the zone.

"Local residents and businesses have supported this initiative and both Waltham Forest and Redbridge Police have worked in partnership with the local authority to address concerns about anti-social behaviour in these areas.

"A previous dispersal zone had displaced anti-social behaviour to neighbouring wards...[so] we hope to tackle this problem by enforcing cross-border dispersal zones."

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Comments (9)

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12:07pm Mon 25 Jun 12

Dave mp says...

So after the 20th November it will be ok for them to return?
So after the 20th November it will be ok for them to return? Dave mp

12:19pm Mon 25 Jun 12

the dame says...

My understanding was that all local police and beyond were being drafted in to service the Olympic Park when the Games were taking place. Will the Dispersal Orders be the responsibility of the Community Officers. We only have a limited number of police officers.
My understanding was that all local police and beyond were being drafted in to service the Olympic Park when the Games were taking place. Will the Dispersal Orders be the responsibility of the Community Officers. We only have a limited number of police officers. the dame

2:31pm Mon 25 Jun 12

christine1 says...

Believe me Dave they wont be going anywhere, the pickings will be too great. These kids are far too street wise.

Chocolate teapot springs to mine and every other cliche in the book.
Believe me Dave they wont be going anywhere, the pickings will be too great. These kids are far too street wise. Chocolate teapot springs to mine and every other cliche in the book. christine1

3:23pm Mon 25 Jun 12

vikki w says...

Shouldn't. They be doing this anyway funny how things are changing due to the olympics
Shouldn't. They be doing this anyway funny how things are changing due to the olympics vikki w

4:58pm Mon 25 Jun 12

Chappo says...

Pity the Olympics haven`t got an event for the bag snatch & sprint. or phone snatch relay event. We might win some medals while at the same time keeping them off the streets.
Pity the Olympics haven`t got an event for the bag snatch & sprint. or phone snatch relay event. We might win some medals while at the same time keeping them off the streets. Chappo

6:14pm Mon 25 Jun 12

mdj says...

I don't think I'm the only person whose chief experience of anti-social behaviour recently is having their car towed away on a Sunday while parked on a single yellow line. This promises to be many people's main memory of the Olympics. I somehow don't think that the Met are bothered about that.
I don't think I'm the only person whose chief experience of anti-social behaviour recently is having their car towed away on a Sunday while parked on a single yellow line. This promises to be many people's main memory of the Olympics. I somehow don't think that the Met are bothered about that. mdj

7:12pm Mon 25 Jun 12

Chappo says...

If the Police had did their job and got to grips with the muggings in the area, the council wouldn't be panicking now! It`s about time we saw the "bobbies" back on the beat. After all, the last three Police commissioners and Boris Johnson has been promising this to us. So why do we only see them hiding in their Police cars? As for the community officers!, what a waste of time they are, It seems they deliberately avoid conflict at all costs by avoiding the dodgy areas.
If the Police had did their job and got to grips with the muggings in the area, the council wouldn't be panicking now! It`s about time we saw the "bobbies" back on the beat. After all, the last three Police commissioners and Boris Johnson has been promising this to us. So why do we only see them hiding in their Police cars? As for the community officers!, what a waste of time they are, It seems they deliberately avoid conflict at all costs by avoiding the dodgy areas. Chappo

11:58am Tue 26 Jun 12

G. Robertson says...

why is this going on all the way to the 20th Nov? The olympics will be well and truly gone and forgotten about by then.

Anyone else smell a Police State in the making?
why is this going on all the way to the 20th Nov? The olympics will be well and truly gone and forgotten about by then. Anyone else smell a Police State in the making? G. Robertson

3:20pm Tue 26 Jun 12

mdj says...

'Anyone else smell a Police State in the making?'
Well, since this area is next to the Met's Olympic command centre, being built on protected green space to huge disgust, the average ne'er-do-well won't be hanging around, surely? So who might these dispersal orders be aimed at?
'Anyone else smell a Police State in the making?' Well, since this area is next to the Met's Olympic command centre, being built on protected green space to huge disgust, the average ne'er-do-well won't be hanging around, surely? So who might these dispersal orders be aimed at? mdj

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