Officers are regularly called to the town centre to deal with up to 15-strong gangs of teenagers taking drugs, carrying weapons and terrorising traders and shoppers.
From today, however, officers have put in place dispersal orders throughout the week, granting them special powers to deal with antisocial behaviour.What's wrong with the ones they already have?
It comes after Sgt Ian Hughes, from the community policing team, found knuckledusters, a lock knife and drugs paraphernalia discarded in a bush. He said: “On the High Street there has been groups of youths causing issues. They are gathering in large groups near McDonald’s, they have been carrying out assaults, possessing controlled substances, possessing controlled weapons, and being nasty to shopkeepers and shoppers.
“We want to send out the message that this behaviour won’t be tolerated by either the police, the youth offending service or the street rangers, who will all be carrying out patrols.
“We can make them immediately leave the location and send them home.
“If they return within 24 hours, then they can be arrested.”Utterly futile.