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Merseyside Police is responding to residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour in the Churchtown area of Southport by bringing in a temporary dispersal zone this weekend.

The zone will be in operation from 6pm tonight, Friday, 6 March  until 6pm on Sunday, 8 March

It will cover an area bounded by North Road, the B5244, Bibby Road, Longacre and Larkfield Lane and will include the Botanic Gardens.

The zones are being brought in under Section 34 of the new Anti-Social Behaviour legislation which gives police officers and Police Community Support Traffic Officers powers to direct people causing anti-social behaviour to leave the area.  If those people return to the area within 48 hours they can be arrested.

Neighbourhood Inspector for Southport Graham Fisher said: “We have had a number of reports from the community in Churchtown regarding groups of youths gathering in the area, particularly around the Botanic Gardens.  These youths have been causing a nuisance to shops and residents and there have been some incidents of criminal damage.

“We know that anti-social behaviour can cause annoyance and distress for many members of the local community and we are determined to show those people that we are listening to their concerns and doing something positive about them.

“The zones are not about bothering legitimate people going about their daily business, but we will be targeting people, particularly, large groups of youths, who we believe are in the area to behave anti-socially or cause a nuisance.

“The zones will be policed throughout the weekend and will give officers the powers they need to deal effectively with anti-social behaviour related problems.

“I would urge anyone in Churchtown who sees people causing a nuisance or behaving anti-socially to contact us as soon as they can on the 101 number.  We will respond to all those reports and take action wherever we can.”

People can call officers on the 101 number or dial 999 if there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.

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