New police powers to combat gangs

Gangs congregating in an area of the Black Country can be moved on by police under new powers to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

A dispersal order has been secured by officers in the Leasowes region of Halesowen because gangs were causing havoc.

The order will allow them to break up groups of two or more youths who gather in specific areas and prevent them from returning.

The action follows a spate of complaints from residents and vandal attacks in the Leasowes Park.

The order, which will run until February 2013, also means officers can return anybody under the age of 16 to their home between the hours of 9pm and 6am.

Roads covered by the order include Kent Road, Manor Lane, Leasowes Lane, Western Avenue and Shenstone Avenue.

The action has been welcomed by local residents who say youths have been damaging properties and shouting abuse.

Two slides, two swings, a climbing wall and chain bridge were also hacked down at The Leasowes park in September.


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