New dispersal zone targets East End street gangs and drug dealers

A new dispersal zone to kick yobs off the streets has been set up in London’s East End by police and the local authority.

It is targeted at drug dealers and street gangs in parts of Bethnal Green and Stepney Green.

The temporary zone running till November 10 stretches from the Liverpool Street main-line railway in the north, between Globe Road and Cambridge Heath Road, down to the Mile End Road in the south, between Globe Road, Cambridge Heath Road and the Collingwood Estate.

It follows earlier exclusion zones in Spitalfields and Whitechapel, centred around Brick Lane.

The new zone applied for by the Met Police has been approved by Tower Hamlets Council, following complaints from the public about drug dealing, intimidation and anti-social behaviour in the area. Traders complained of youths loitering outside their premises harassing customers.

“We are determined to stop the actions of a small minority,” warned Pol Insp Gary Anderson. “These powers reinforce the message that crime and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”

The Dispersal Order allows police and council support officers to exclude for up to 24 hours groups of two or more acting in an anti-social manner who don’t live in the area. Those banned would face arrest with fines up to £2,500 or prison if caught in the zone within the ban period.