EXTRA police powers to break up gangs of late-night drinkers are working after just two weeks, say residents.
Police have used a dispersal order in St Clement’s to break up groups four times since the order came into force on Monday, August 11.
But they have not had to use the power it grants to arrest someone for returning to the area within 48 hours, suggesting the threat is potent enough.
Anchor Court resident Leatrice Beeson, 90, said the area looked “much cleaner”.
She said: “I haven’t seen any layabouts recently. The place looks fantastic. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was working.”
Police introduced the order after receiving 275 complaints about drunken behaviour and drug abuse in St Clement’s this year.
Another Anchor Court resident, Pamela Rogers, complained before that gangs of late-night drinkers by the river behind The Queen’s College’s Florey building were making life miserable and keeping her awake at night.
Now, she said, the gangs were gone.
Miss Rogers, 67, said: “We haven’t seen them in the last week or so, it seems to have got a lot quieter.”
It is the first time Oxford has had two dispersal order zones at one time since they were created by the 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act.
The other, at Speedwell Street, was renewed for a further six months from the same date after it proved effective.
As well as granting police the power to break up groups of more than two, it also allows officers to escort home any unaccompanied under-16 found in the area.
Thames Valley Police anti-social behaviour officer Mike Ellis said officers had welcomed the extra powers.
He said: “Four or five officers told me they have used the powers; it is really welcome.”
There had been no reports of rises in anti-social behaviour in neighbouring areas.
According to the force, police had also used the powers to break up gangs in the Speedwell Street zone, but had made no arrests there either.
The last time a dispersal order had been used in the city was in Rose Hill eight years ago.
WHAT IT MEANS
SECTIONS 30-36 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 (ASBA) gave police in England and Wales powers to disperse groups of two or more people from areas where there is persistent anti-social behaviour, as well as take home under-16s on the streets in a dispersal zone between 9pm and 6am who are not accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
A new Anti-Social, Crime and Policing Bill, which would overwrite current dispersal orders, was introduced to the House of Commons last year. s That bill is expected to receive Royal Assent by the end of the year.
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
5:10pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A 15-YEAR-OLD girl was raped in Barns Road, Cowley on her way to the bus stop. According to Thames Valley Police the girl was walking to the stop before Blackbird Leys bridge between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday, September 20. She was approached by a man who walked alongside her. As they came to the bridge he grabbed her arm and pulled her down to a muddy track at the side of the bridge. He then raped the victim and left her on the track, walking away. The offender is described as white, aged in his late teens, 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins tall and slim. He had very short dark hair, blue eyes, freckles on his face and a short ginger beard, and was wearing a chain around his neck, black trainers and dark grey Nike jogging bottoms. The girl reported the rape to police on Tuesday ((06/10)) this week. Investigating officer Det Insp Steve Raffield of Banbury CID said: “Specialist officers are supporting the victim who has reported this rape to us. "What happened to this young girl is unimaginable and I am sure that members of the public will be shocked to hear about this incident, which happened in broad daylight. "“A full investigation is now under way and there are officers in the area today making enquiries and providing reassurance to members of the public who may have concerns. “Incidents like this are extremely rare, but it is essential that we identify the offender as soon as possible. I would urge anyone who has any information about this incident, or who saw or heard anything out of the ordinary in the Barns Road area around the time of the offence, to contact me as soon as possible by calling 101.”
5:00pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A boy has been taken to hospital after being involved in a crash in Bicester.
6:36pm Thursday 8th October 2015
CCTV footage from an Oxford travellers’ site has shown a man who was allegedly kept as a slave being pushed around and treated “like a ragdoll”.
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
AN E-FIT of a man who ran away after being caught holding a little girl's hand in Greater Leys has been released by Thames Valley Police. According to officers, a two-year-old girl was playing outside a property in Shepherds Hill at about 6.20pm on Friday, September 11. When her mother came to check on her she saw a man holding the girl's hand. When she challenged the man, he ran away. He is described as white, in his thirties, about 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins with short spiky blond or brown hair. He was wearing a knee-length jacket that may have been leather. Investigating officer Det Con Lorna Briggs of Force CID in Oxford said: “We are keeping an open mind regarding this incident. There might be a innocent explanation as to why the man was holding the girl’s hand. “If anyone recognises the man in the E-fit or has any information about the incident then please contact your local police station."
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A BEGGAR has been banned by police from approaching people in Oxford and asking them for money, food or cigarettes.
7:50am Thursday 8th October 2015
MISSING teen Michaela Rose from Chipping Norton was found safe and well last night.