Horsham town centre Dispersal Order allows ‘problem groups’ to be moved on

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A new Dispersal Order gives police the power to move people on from the town centre, and stop them returning for 24 hours.

Horsham District Council say they have had a number of recent complaints about ‘the behaviour of a small number of people who misuse alcohol and become aggressive and abusive in the town centre’.

A statement from the council said: “The Order will run for a three month period from midnight on Friday 27 September 2013 until Friday 27 December 2013 and gives uniformed Police Constables and Police Community Support Officers the power to disperse problem groups from the area and to stop them returning within 24 hours.

“The Order is not designed to create an exclusion zone or a curfew area, nor is it a blanket ban on people associating in groups; it is intended to make the area a more pleasant place for everyone.

“Sussex Police will not necessarily disperse people in this area for just being in a group but officers will judge each situation on its individual merits.

“It is therefore vital, if needed, that members of the public contact Sussex Police providing as much information as possible at the time incidents are occurring. They will aim to quickly deal with any matter reported to them in a fair, robust and proportionate manner.”

Any member of the public who feels intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed is asked to contact Sussex Police at the time on 101 for a non-emergency, or 999 if a crime is in progress.

Greg Charman, community safety manager for the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership said: “The introduction of a Dispersal Order in Horsham town centre is a measured response on the part of the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership to the number and nature of reported incidents.

“It will not impact in any way on the lives of law abiding citizens but will ensure that the Police locally have the necessary powers to tackle those individuals who insist on causing problems.”