Nov 01 2013

Harrow Conservatives Call for Dispersal Zones – Not Actually The Answer, Though

SONY DSCLocal Harrow Conservative councillor Simon Williams (Harrow on the Hill), will be collecting signatures for a petition calling for the re-introduction of a dispersal zone on Northolt Road, from 11am on Saturday November 2, 2013.  Cllr Williams will be with police from the Safer Neighbourhood Police Team talking to residents about crime prevention and safety at a street stall on Brooke Avenue.

Cllr. Williams said “Residents along the road, particularly Southill Avenue and Brooke Avenue in my ward are very concerned at the anti-social behaviour of gangs hanging around the roadside. Gangs of youths outside South Harrow tube station can be particularly intimidating and the police ought to be given powers to move people on. A dispersal zone along Northolt Road will help make the area safer and I’m hoping that we can get it re-introduced very soon.”

[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]…just four people were prosecuted for failing to comply with a police request to disperse.[/pullquote]It’s worth remembering that the area has previously seen a dispersal zone, from December 2012 to June 2013. During this time, only six groups of people were dispersed using powers granted to police under that order, and just four people were prosecuted for failing to comply with a police request to disperse.

Given the incredibly low number of times that this power was formally used, it doesn’t seem it’ll do much to “make the area safer” in the future. Dispersal zones are great, where they’re needed, but the evidence here doesn’t seem to support this.

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