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Estate gangs targeted in summer crackdown

PUBLISHED: 12:37 25 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 September 2010

GANGS of youths who blight residents lives will be swept off a troubled Hornsey estate this summer by special police powers to combat anti-social behaviour. Haringey Police has successfully applied for a dispersal order under section 30 of the anti-socia

GANGS of youths who blight residents' lives will be swept off a troubled Hornsey estate this summer by special police powers to combat anti-social behaviour.

Haringey Police has successfully applied for a dispersal order under section 30 of the anti-social behaviour act 2003 for the Campsbourne Estate.

Active from last Monday, the order gives police the power to split up groups of two or more unruly youths on the street and take them home or to a safe place if they are out between 9pm and 6am.

The move follows a flood of complaints to the council and police from residents about drug taking and intimidating youths lingering in stairwells and on the estate's streets.

Mopeds being misused late at night and on pavements are also blighting people's lives.

Sgt John Scott, of the Hornsey Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "This order is a preventative tool to tackle anti-social behaviour which has been causing distress to the local community and which has been committed by a minority of young people.

"While policing the dispersal zone, we will encourage young people to engage in summer activities such as youth clubs and the summer university."

Haringey Council's enforcement and safer communities boss, Cllr Nilgun Canver, said: "This is especially useful for dealing with problems caused largely by people who don't live on the estate.

"We are talking about a small minority of young people who congregate on the estate and surrounding area and act in an anti-social manner, causing problems for residents and other youngsters alike.

"Those who breach this order will be dealt with by police so that residents can live in peace.

"Over the summer holidays, the council has also organised a whole range of activities - from sports to drama and music - across the borough to ensure that youngsters have something to do during the day and don't need to congregate on estates."

Any youth who returns to the area after being told to leave will be charged under the act.

This could result in them receiving a three-month sentence in a young offenders' institution or a £2,500 fine.

Police and community support officers will regularly patrol the dispersal areas throughout the six-month period the notice will run. It will finish on January 21.

Leaflets have been distributed to every household within the dispersal zone. A map of the zone will also be displayed in the area.

Lib Dem Hornsey ward councillor Monica Whyte said: "Clearly there is a problem with anti-social behaviour on the estate and some residents are at their wits' end.

"But my reservation is that a dispersal order should be served as a last resort and this has been served just before the start of the summer holidays which could tar all young people with the same brush.

"We should be finding activities for these young people to do.

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