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Dispersal orders for village playing fields under police crackdown on large gatherings

PUBLISHED: 19:03 22 June 2020 | UPDATED: 19:03 22 June 2020

Norfolk Police have imposed dispersal orders on three Norfolk playing fields after complaints Picture: Getty Images

Norfolk Police have imposed dispersal orders on three Norfolk playing fields after complaints Picture: Getty Images

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Police imposed 48 hour dispersal orders at three village recreation grounds in a bid to crackdown on large gatherings.

The Edgar Tennant playing field in Ormesby St Margaret where police have been granted special powers to move people on after reports of gatherings and anti-social behavour Picture: Google MapsThe Edgar Tennant playing field in Ormesby St Margaret where police have been granted special powers to move people on after reports of gatherings and anti-social behavour Picture: Google Maps

The orders came after officers received reports of groups congregating, playing loud music and consuming alcohol and drugs during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Rubbish was also said to be left behind by young people at the three locations where police were handed extra powers to move trouble-makers on.

The orders were imposed at Mill Lane and Green Lane playing fields in Bradwell and at the Station Road Recreation Ground in Ormesby St Margaret from 10.10pm on Friday until the same time on Sunday (June 21) and could be in force again this weekend.

In a statement Norfolk Police said: “Police have received a number of reports in recent weeks of anti-social behaviour in the area of the recreation ground in Ormesby.

Anti-social behaviour has been reported at Mill Lane Playing Field in Bradwell during lockdown. A dispersal ordered was imposed by police to combat problems Picture: Google MapsAnti-social behaviour has been reported at Mill Lane Playing Field in Bradwell during lockdown. A dispersal ordered was imposed by police to combat problems Picture: Google Maps

“This has included large groups congregating, the consumption of alcohol and drugs, and reports of loud music.

“Despite attempts to engage and educate these groups of people, the issue has continued.

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“As a result, officers enforced a Section 34 dispersal order (Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014) for the recreation ground at Ormesby.”

Green Lane Playing Field in Bradwell were youngsters have reportedly been gathering during lockdown and causing problems Picture: Google MapsGreen Lane Playing Field in Bradwell were youngsters have reportedly been gathering during lockdown and causing problems Picture: Google Maps

The order gives uniformed officers the authority to move people on where their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in a member of the public being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed.

They can be banned from a specified area for up to 48 hours.

Refusal to comply risks up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

There is also a discretionary power for officers to take young people under the age of 16 home, or to a place of safety, after 9pm if they are not under the control of an adult.

The force confirmed the two playing fields in Bradwell were subject to the same order.

People on Facebook said they understood that young people wanted to meet up with their friends but said it wouldn’t be so bad if they took their rubbish home.

One person reported broken bottles which they said was “unacceptable.”


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