Asbo-Style Bans Imposed to Give Police Powers to Break up Easter Gatherings

Police chiefs across the UK have imposed Asbo-style bans in city and town centres giving officers additional powers to break up Easter gatherings. This includes the power to confiscate items such as alcohol. Those who breach certain orders can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to £2,500. The Telegraph has the story.

Police chiefs have imposed Asbo-style bans in city and town centres across the UK giving officers extra powers to break up groups of Easter revellers.

The dispersal orders allow officers to require anyone aged over 10 engaged in or likely to participate in “anti-social behaviour” to be banned from an area for up to 48 hours.

They also get powers to confiscate items such as alcohol and anyone in breach of the order by refusing to leave or returning within 48 hours can be jailed for up to three months and/or fined up to £2,500.

The move follows large groups of people gathering in city centres this week to celebrate the easing of lockdown and enjoy the warm Spring weather, leaving police struggling to break them up and huge mounds of litter that council officers have had to clear up.

Manchester has issued a 48-hour disposal order for the entire city centre until Saturday 3pm after a rave saw major breaches of Covid regulations and social distancing being disregarded by hundreds of young people.

Warm weather, coupled with lockdown fatigue, has drawn people out of their homes this week, much to the disappointment of the Government which has urged people not to “blow it“.

Inspector Jonathan Shilvock, of Greater Manchester police’s city division, says:

This week we have seen an increase in antisocial behaviour as people gather in large groups and are hostile towards our officers who attempt to engage with them and explain the coronavirus legislation which remains firmly in place even with some of the restrictions now being lifted.

This type of irresponsible behaviour causes concern for local residents and has a negative impact within the community. 

I would like to reassure the public that you will see an increased police presence in the area and our officers will be enforcing the dispersal order where appropriate and issuing fixed penalty notices for breaches of Covid legislation.

Dispersal orders have been imposed in many other areas across the country, including Leeds, Shrewsbury town centre and Nottingham.

Earlier this week, police chiefs warned that the “Rule of Six” is almost unenforceable, but today’s news contradicts reports that, because of this difficulty, officers will take a more “permissive” approach than in lockdown.

The Telegraph’s report is worth reading in full.

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