A DISPERSAL order in Redditch has been hailed as a big success after complaints of antisocial behaviour plummeted following its introduction.

The Section 30 Disperal Order, covering most of Leysters Close and Tillington Close in Winyates East, was introduced on 8 May after 34 complaints about unruly behaviour were received in the preceding five weeks. The complaints included incidents of criminal damage and arson as well as shouting and swearing.

However during the four weeks that the order ran, up until last Thursday, June 5, there were just four calls and those related to gatherings of youths.

Police issued five warnings to youngsters who were causing problems and followed that up with a youth caution on the one occasion when the warning was not heeded.

Sergeant Neil Billingham, from the Winyates Safer Neighbourhood Team, said that following on from the dispersal order police were now working with the borough council to address problems caused by one tenant in particular. An antisocial behaviour contract had been agreed with the individual concerned and that was being monitored.

Dispersal orders give police and police community support officers to break up groups of two or more people who are causing issues and instruct them to leave the vicinity. Failure to comply can lead to arrest without warrant.

Sergeant Billingham said: “A group of young people there thought that we were issuing empty threats by putting this order in place and set out to test our resolve. However as soon as they realised we meant business the problems started to dry up.

“Antisocial behaviour such as the kind complained off in this instance should not and will not be tolerated. Certainly the feedback we have had from residents indicates that things are a lot quieter now and they are grateful for the action we and the council have taken.

“Here in Redditch we have a good track record of solving problems with dispersal orders, which usually bring results within a few weeks of their introduction. This one at Winyates has been a big success and it shows the value of having a tool like this in the armoury.

“However we will continue to patrol in that area and we will be closely monitoring the situation. Hopefully the message has got through and there will be no recurrence of the problems but should the need arise we will not hesitate to use these powers again.”