19 April 2010

Vassall, Herne Hill and Coldharbour dispersal zone goes live

Safer Neighbourhoods logo Lambeth Council and the Metropolitan Police have today initiated the Vassall, Herne Hill and Coldharbour dispersal zone. This measure will give the Police greater powers to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the area by enable them to move on offenders, it follows on from the six months trial on the Paulet Road estate previously featured here. This successful trial saw a 17% drop in crime in the area.

The Order is granted under the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. Within designated areas the Police and Police Community Support Officers 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 24hrs. They also can return home a young person under the age of 16yrs if they are in the area after 9pm.

A refusal to follow the officer's directions is a summary offence. The penalty on conviction for this offence is a fine or a maximum of 3 months imprisonment for adults.

The principal aims of the Order are:
  • To improve the area and make it safer for people who live work and visit the Vassall, Herne Hill and Coldharbour Wards.
  • Support the Police to disrupt the activity of the group.
  • Identify individuals and collect evidence for further enforcement including ASBOs.
  • Identify young people and offer diversionary activities for example through Young & Safe or other universal services.
  • Reassure the community and residents that action is being taken
The Order will run for a period of six months. Displacement will be proactively monitored and a planned exit strategy has already been drawn up by officers.

Local Vassall Ward Labour candidate Kingsley Abrams welcomed the move saying "As a resident of one of the streets covered by the zone I welcome this move which will make the streets safer and the area a more pleasant place in which to live."

The Vassall, Herne Hill, and Coldharbour dispersal zone covers Carew Street, Eastlake Road, Flaxman Road, Gordon Grove, Kenbury Street, Lilford Road, Redan Terrace, Cormont Road, Calais Street, Halsmere Road, Paulet Road, Knatchbull Road, Inglis Street, Welby Street, Templar Street, Upstall Street, Penford Street, Burton Road, Brief Street, Claribel Road, Minet Road, Rupert Gardens, Wickwood Street, Styles Gardens, Rathgar Road, Luxor Street, Spicer Close, Elam Street and all of Lilford and Thorlands Estate, Loughborough Road, Akerman Road, Lothian Road, Camberwell New Road, Flooden Road and Denmark Road.

Lambeth Council news release: Anti-social behaviour crackdown slashes crime in six months

Further coverage on Dash24

The Vassall Ward Safer Neighbourhoods Team will be holding a street briefing on Tuesday 20 April 6:30-7:30pm on Vassall Road on the junction with Russell Grove. further information on the SNT webpage