Know where your children are, say police

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A senior police officer in Ilkeston has issued a plea to parents and carers to take extra responsibility in checking where their children are and what they are doing on the run up to Christmas.

The request comes after a second period of extra powers has been given to the Ilkeston Safer Neighbourhood Team to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town.

During the weekend of Friday December 16 to Sunday December 18 officers were given powers under Section 34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

These enabled officers to move on any youngster aged ten or over if they felt it necessary in order to stop members of the public being harassed, alarmed or distressed.

The move followed reports of groups of young people aged between 14 and 17 years meeting up and causing a disturbance, including damage being caused to shop windows and houses and bricks being thrown at moving vehicles.

The powers are also authorised between December 20 at midday for a period of 48 hours, when they will be reviewed.

The authorisation covers an area in and around the town centre and covers Johnny’s Park.

Inspector Jim Thompson, who is in charge of policing in the area, said: “The incidents identified over the last few weeks fully justify the decision to authorise the use of dispersal powers as we will not tolerate this type of behaviour.

“Those involved appear to be youths aged between 14 and 17 years who are causing home and business owners a great deal of inconvenience, alarm and distress.

“Over last weekend seven dispersal orders were issued to youths who will all now have additional visits by officers to be spoken to with their parents.

“The latest period of authorisation coincides with the break-up of local schools and I would urge all parents to be aware of what their children are getting up to when they are out and about.”

The Crown Prosecution Service website states that where a Police Superintendent or above has reasonable grounds for believing members of the public have been intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed in public places in a specific area he may make a written authority under s 30 ASBA to disperse groups of more than two people.

Officers believe that arrangements are being made over social media and if anyone becomes aware of such meetings being arranged or has information about the recent damage they should contact the Ilkeston Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or send them a message online by visiting www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.