“Dispersal zone” established to target anti-social behaviour in Bethnal Green

A “dispersal zone” has been set up in Bethnal Green in a bid to tackle “intimidation and anti-social behaviour”.

Tower Hamlets Council granted an application from the police giving them the power to exclude groups of two or more people who are not residents of a specified area and are acting in an anti-social manner.

Exclusions would last 24 hours, and covers the area between Cephas Street, Cleveland Way, Mile End Road, and Cambridge Heath Road.

If the groups fail to comply with the order, or return within 24 hours, they may be arrested, fined £2,500 or even risk jail.

Ch Insp Gary Anderson said: “We don’t take this step lightly. We produced the evidence to the relevant authority who agreed that a dispersal notice was the way forward.

“I look forward to seeing an improvement in the standard of living for the law-abiding residents so they can go about their business without feeling intimidated by groups causing ASB or using drugs illegally.”

Police will also have the power to return under 16s to their homes if they are not under control of parents or guardians between the hours of 9pm and 6am.

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The zone was established on January 21, and will continue operating until March 21.