From West Midlands Police:

POLICE in Kings Norton have been given powers to disperse groups of people who are causing a nuisance to local residents with the introduction of a new dispersal order.

The dispersal order, which forms part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, means that groups of two or more people can be moved on if they are suspected of causing a nuisance. If they enter the area again within 24 hours of being moved on, they will be liable to be arrested.

Residents called for the order after suffering significant and persistent problems of anti-social behaviour with the subject been raised at police community meetings.

The order, which runs until the 1 April 2012, covers Pool Farm, Walkers Heath and Hawkesley – known locally as ‘the three estates’ – and incorporates the two main shopping areas of the Fold and Hawkesley Square as well as Greaves Square.

PC Marj Levy, from the Kings Norton neighbourhood policing team, has been working closely with local residents to introduce the order. She said: “Seeking the dispersal order was a direct result of listening to the community's concerns.

“Unfortunately the groups who are responsible for this behaviour are persistent and continue to behave anti-socially.

“The order will now give officers the power move on anyone intent on causing disruption to the wider community. The order will be used in conjunction with existing powers of arrest and only against those who have been identified as causing persistent problems.”

The dispersal order was granted after consultation between West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council.

PC Levy added: “We also hope that the use of the dispersal order will send a clear message to offenders that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated in Kings Norton.”

Anyone with information in relation to anti-social behaviour should call police on 0345 113 5000.

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