Crunch meeting on anti-social behaviour in Lancaster as police enforce dispersal orders

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An urgent meeting will aim to tackle anti-social behaviour in Lancaster as police continue to crack down on nuisance activity in the city centre.

Lancaster Police are urging parents to speak to their children about their behaviour after issuing a Disperal Order to a large group of youths at the weekend.

Police Community Support Officers.

Police Community Support Officers.

Meanwhile yesterday, January 15, another order was put in place to disperse a group of people who have been causing issues on the steps of Lancaster Museum in Market Square by “drinking, swearing and acting in an anti-social manner”.

Police also issued dispersal orders to a large group of youths between January 10 and 12 under s34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014.

Lancaster Area Police said a task force would patrol the city centre over the next few days to enforce the orders.

Lancaster Business Improvement District (BID) said that businesses had been affected by anti-social behaviour for some time now, and fully support the dispersal orders.

Clive Grunshaw is the Labour Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner

Clive Grunshaw is the Labour Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner

It has now convened a panel meeting - due to take place at The Royal Kings Arms on January 23 - which will be opened by Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.

The meeting is open to businesses that operate in Lancaster city centre.

It will be chaired by Dame Sue Black, of Lancaster University, and the panel will include Tony Johnson, Lancaster BID Manager, Tim Tomlinson, chair of Lancaster Pubwatch, Lancaster City Coun Caroline Jackson, Lancaster City Council officer Mark Davies, Paul Smith, centre manager at St Nic’s shopping centre, and Sgt Lindsay Brown from Lancashire Police.

Tim Tomlinson, who is also landlord at The Stonewell Tap, said he witnessed a large group of young people aged between 12 and 17 around the Church Street and Cheapside area last week.

The woman had been trapped following a two-vehicle collision last week

The woman had been trapped following a two-vehicle collision last week

He said: “There were between 40-50 kids in two groups last week.

“I asked some of them to move on from behind the Stonewell, and their response wasn’t great.

“I understand that they could have come from Morecambe due to a dispersal order being in place there.”

BID manager Tony Johnson said: “Businesses have been affected by the anti-social behaviour in the city centre for some time now.

“Lancaster BID support the police’s decision on the dispersal orders given out last week.”

Insp Mark Douglas, from Lancaster Police said: “We want to make sure that Lancaster is a safe welcoming place for people to visit, in order to make this happen we will not tolerate crime and anti social behaviour and we will use all options at our disposal to make sure that happens.

“Parents – please speak to your children about their behaviour, breaching a notice given by police can result in a criminal conviction and a criminal record.

“A criminal record can have long lasting implications for future craeer prospects, university admissions and international travel.”

Insp Douglas said that follow up work would involve visiting parents and the schools of those involved.

He added: “If the behaviour persists it will only end up going one way, that’s arrest and court, because we will not stand back whilst innocent people suffer from anti social behaviour.”