POLICE now have dispersal orders in place across beauty spots in the Staffordshire Moorlands following an increase of anti-social behaviour.
The order, granted under section 34 of the Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, gives officers the power to disperse anyone for the purpose of or reducing the likelihood of members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed, distressed or the occurrence of crime and disorder.
Recently there has been numerous reports of anti-social and nuisance behaviour including problems with groups congregating, excessive noise, litter, people going to the toilet in public and inconsiderate parking in rural locations.
High visibility patrols will be taking place in the areas of Alstonefields, Ilam, Dovedale, Grindon, Stanshope and Wetton including Wetton Mill, Thor’s Cave and Blore Pasture. Officers will be telling groups to leave where necessary, and anyone failing to disperse could be arrested.
Chief Inspector Mark Thorley authorised the new order, which began at 5pm yesterday (June 3) and continues for 48 hours.
He said, “Over the recent weeks increasing numbers of visitors have travelled to the rural beauty spots in the Staffordshire Moorlands, with many driving from the East and West Midlands to enjoy the scenery.
“We appreciate that the majority of people cause no issues, however we have received a number of complaints relating to inconsiderate and anti-social behaviour with concerns also being raised by local residents.
“The dispersal orders in these areas will not be applied indiscriminately and officers will continue to differentiate between those enjoying a day out and the minority engaging in nuisance and anti-social behaviour.
“I’d like to remind anyone thinking of travelling to the moorlands that currently not all car parks are open and public toilets are not available. If you do choose to travel here please follow the countryside code and respect the local communities.”