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Police given more power to stop crime and disorder in Harlow

Harlow town centre Credit: ITV News Anglia

A dispersal order has been put in place in Harlow town centre to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime overnight.

The order gives police enhanced powers between 10pm (Saturday 30th Sept) and 6am (Sunday 1st October) to order anyone to leave the area if they have reasonable grounds to believe they are involved in crime and disorder.

Anyone who refuses to leave the area once directed can be arrested and, if convicted, they could face up to a three month prison sentence and £2,500 fine.

"We have had several complaints from local residents and business owners regarding drug use, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour. We believe a number of reports are happening when people are leaving premises in the town centre following a night out. In some cases people are congregating and the dispersal order permits officers to exclude persons from an area during its duration, helping to tackle crime associated with alcohol consumption and illegal drug use at night."

– Insp Tony Walker, Harlow Community Policing team