Police have been given extra powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in Brixton Town Centre.
Lambeth Council has introduced the Dispersal Zone in and around the town centre and Acre Lane where there are high levels of anti-social behaviour and criminality. The six-month order came into force on Tuesday, January 31, and will run until Tuesday, July 31. A major concern is drug dealing – particularly in Acre Lane as well as drug taking, street drinking, and begging in and around the Town Centre.
The Safer Lambeth Partnership, which includes Lambeth Council and Lambeth Metropolitan Police, has taken action following reports from some residents’ and shopkeepers’ detailing incidents in which they have felt victimised, intimidated, and unsafe. The majority of the drug dealing group are aged between 19 to 25 and normally appear in the High Street from 4pm until the early hours of the morning. The street drinkers are of all ages and appear day and night. The areas specifically targeted by the dispersal zone consist mainly of businesses and privately owned homes.
Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Rachel Heywood, said:
“We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour and criminality in any form and will take action against the select few who choose to intimidate our residents and business community as they go about their day. We were asked by the community to take action and that is exactly what we have done. People should be able to walk down the street and use their local shops without being harassed.”
Within the designated areas the Police and PCSOs have the power to:
• Disperse groups (of two or more people) where the relevant officer has reasonable grounds for believing their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in a member of the public being harassed, intimidated or distressed. Individuals can be directed to leave the locality and may be excluded for up to 24 hours.
• Return home a young person under the age of 16 years after 9pm.
• A refusal to follow the officer’s discretions is a summary offence. The penalty on conviction for this offence is a fine or a maximum of three months imprisonment for adults.
The zone will cover: Bedford Rd to Porden Rd, Porden Rd, St Matthews Rd, Mervan Rd, Talma Rd, Kellett Rd, Atlantic Rd, Coldharbour Lane, Gresham Rd, Brixton Rd, Stockwell Rd Walk, Stockwell Rd, Bellefields Rd, Ferndale Rd and all roads running off to the junction Bedford Rd & Bedford Rd from Acre Lane to Cottage Grove Junction.
To report incidents of anti-social behaviour contact the anti-social behaviour reporting line on 020 7926 4000. For more information on the Safer Lambeth Partnership visit http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/SaferLambeth/