REPORTS of anti-social behaviour have fallen in Bicester a month after police introduced a measure to move on anyone deemed to be causing trouble in the town centre.

On March 26, a dispersal order was brought in following reports of ‘minor altercations’ and people scaling buildings.

The temporary order gave officers the power to move on anyone deemed to be acting anti-socially from the town centre, and to seize any item being used to cause a nuisance.

READ AGAIN: Dispersal order comes after reports of fights and ‘people scaling buildings’

Sergeant Gavin Staniland, of the Bicester and Kidlington neighbourhood team, said several investigations are ongoing, and those arrested have been arrested on bail.

“Section 34 dispersal orders have been authorised by an inspector on three occasions for Bicester town centre following increased reports of anti-social behaviour,” he said.

“Several section 35 dispersal notices were also issued to individuals during these authorisation periods.

“As a result, we have seen a reduction in reports of anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

“While section 34 powers provide the police with a short-term solution to anti-social behaviour, we recognise the importance of tackling these issues with a long-term problem solving approach.

“There are several investigations ongoing at this time directly relating to anti-social behaviour in the town centre and the suspects for these offences have been arrested and released on conditional police bail.”

Oxford Mail: The Harvest Cafe in Bicester was attacked by vandals in March. Picture: Ed NixThe Harvest Cafe in Bicester was attacked by vandals in March. Picture: Ed Nix

Sergeant Staniland said Thames Valley Police (TVP) was working with Cherwell District Council to look at other ways of reducing anti-social behaviour.

He said: “We have two dedicated PCSOs for the town centre while the other PCSOs will conduct high visibility patrols in the daytime and evenings to reassure the public and disrupt any anti-social behaviour.

“We are also actively exploring a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Pioneer Square with our colleagues from Cherwell District Council which has recently be subject to a public consultation.

“This will have a significant impact on anti-social behaviour as it will give us the power to target any groups that are likely to be anti-social and can be dispersed by police or the council.

“To be able to utilise these powers I cannot reinforce enough how important it is to report all incidents of anti-social behaviour to Thames Valley Police.”

Oxford Mail: Pioneer Square in Bicester. Picture: Jon LewisPioneer Square in Bicester. Picture: Jon Lewis

A spokesperson for the district council said: “Our community safety team have been engaging with the public and consulting on a proposal to establish a PSPO in Bicester town centre, which we drew up in partnership with Thames Valley Police.

“It would grant us powers to tackle behaviour likely to cause alarm or distress, on-street drinking resulting in anti-social behaviour, and begging, and we already successfully operate a PSPO in Banbury.

“We are currently reviewing the consultation responses and the next stage is to present these to the council executive to inform their decision. 

“The order would cover town centre areas including Sheep Street, Pioneer Square, Market Square, Garth Park and more.”

To report anti-social behaviour to TVP, call 101 or make a report on the website.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via its website.

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