Dispersal orders were introduced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. They provide the police with the extra powers to break up groups of two or more people, where they believe their behaviour is causing a nuisance, harassment or distress. The police can move individuals out of the area and stop them from returning for up to 24 hours (unless they are resident in the area).
The orders are granted by the council and last for six months. A range of partner agencies contribute to the process. For example outreach youth workers are given the task of explaining to young people in the area why the dispersal order was granted and of encouraging them to get involved in alternative, positive activities.
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