POLICE in Cheadle are clamping down on anti-social behaviour in the town, following a recent dramatic increase in incidents – including an arson attack on a recreation ground building.
Officers dealt with 25 calls relating to unruly behaviour in the Staffordshire Moorlands town last weekend.
The complaints included threats of violence, criminal damage, bricks being thrown at a bus, fireworks being let off and drug use.
The most serious incident was the setting alight of changing rooms on Churchill Road Recreational Ground.
Vandals have also caused damage to the toilet block at the Tean Road recreation ground in recent weeks.
In a bid to tackle the problem, Staffordshire Moorlands Neighbourhood Police Team is putting in place a Dispersal Order which will be in effect from 5pm on Friday (Nov 3) until 5pm on Sunday(Nov 5), when it will be reviewed.
The dispersal order gives police the powers to tackle persons aged 10 or over who have committed, are suspected of committing or are likely to commit anti-social behaviour and or cause or are likely to cause harassment alarm or distress to other persons.
Police can direct the individual to leave the locality “by the most appropriate and direct route”.
Failing to comply with an order is a criminal offence and police can remove persons under the age of 16 to a place of safety or take them to their home address, using reasonable force if required.
Officers can issue the notices for a period of up to 48 hours and anyone found breaching a notice is liable to be arrested and prosecuted.
PC David Stubbs, of the Staffordshire Moorlands Neighbourhood Team, said: “Following an increase in calls from concerned residents, we will be patrolling the area over the coming weeks to tackle the increase in anti-social behaviour.
“This type of behaviour will not be tolerated in our community and anyone involved, either individually or as part of a group, will be dealt with accordingly.
“I would like to stress Cheadle is a very safe and low crime area to live. However, this increase in anti-social behaviour won’t be tolerated and we are determined to tackle the problem and take positive action against those involved.
“There will be additional patrols in the area this coming weekend and the message to parents is ‘Do you know where your Children are?’ ‘Do you know who they are with and what they are up to’?”