Multiple dispersal orders were handed out to troublemakers in Ramsgate during the weekend.
A 48-hour order was put in place from 6pm Friday (November 20) to 5.59pm Sunday (November 22) giving officers extra powers to disperse those causing a nuisance.
It was enacted in response to a number of reports of the misuse of alcohol, drug taking and criminal damage in the town between November 13-17.
The order was operational within the boundaries of Addington Street in the south, Queen Street, King Street and Hereson Road in the west, and Seven Stones Drive in the north.
A total of 20 people were slapped with orders, meaning they had to leave the area immediately for up to 48 hours and, if they returned during that time, they would risk being arrested.
Ramsgate mayor and ward councillor Raushan Ara said: “As a Central Harbour ward councillor, I was contacted by several residents, who were concerned about the anti-social behaviour that has been taking place in the multi-storey car park, and the town centre.
“This has been a problem for many years now and it is affecting our residents, who feel frightened to come into our town centre for fear of violence and abuse. I am so pleased to see this positive response from Kent Police, working alongside the Community Safety team. This will help to make our town centre a safer and more secure environment for our community.”
Thanet District Commander Chief Inspector Rhiannan Pepper said: “During current Covid restrictions, people should not be out gathering in groups as they pose not only a risk to themselves, but others too.
“Regardless of lockdown rules, it is not acceptable that residents and businesses in Ramsgate should put up with feeling intimidated by those behaving anti-socially. Fortunately it is a small minority who are responsible for such behaviour but we will not tolerate it.
“We will be monitoring the situation over the coming weeks and ask that anyone who witnesses any act of anti-social behaviour, report it so we can take appropriate action.”
The order also followed numerous complaints from residents and traders about fighting, drug taking, shouting and intimidation of passers-by.
Last week The Isle of Thanet news revealed how one resident said they were ‘grateful’ when the second national Covid lockdown was announced because of the constant trouble.
The woman, who does not want to be named for fear of reprisals, says the issues are caused by a large group of ‘feral’ youths aged 12 to 17 who continually gather in the Queen Street and York Street areas, as well as the multi-storey car park.
Issues with anti-social behaviour and crime from youth ‘gangs’ in the town has been a historic problem dating back at least six years with the youngsters changing but the problems remaining constant.
In 2017, 48 hour dispersal orders, patrols targeting ‘hot spots’ and making passwords necessary to access free wi-fi were put in place to target the antisocial behaviour.
Regular meetings were arranged by county councillor Karen Constantine between business owners and police to try and combat the problem. These had to be repeated in 2018 with a fresh outbreak of incidents.
In July 2018 Public Space Protection Orders were enacted for Central Harbour and Margate Central wards. PSPOs prohibit congregating as part of a group of 2 or more for such duration as specified, when directed not to do so by an authorised officer; on the basis that the behaviour is causing or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to others in the locality.
In February of this year stop and searches, knife sweeps and the knock-on effects of a dispersal order brought calm to trouble hotspots in Ramsgate town centre.
Increased police visibility followed an attack on a 27-year-old man in Queen Street by a gang of teenagers on January 24.
Officers are regularly patrolling the area and anyone affected by nuisance behaviour is encouraged to make a report via the Kent Police website or by calling 101.
To all residents if you think the police need to know call them on 999 and let them know. I’ve tried the time wasting 101 line the pre talk to operator waffle is not needed. The only way the police will know these yobs are an ongoing problem is by phoning the police ever time the yobs are causing problems. We are paying for a police crime commissioner I’m don’t know what he does but he does not sort the problem out of yobs
Yes this does work…by calling 999 whenever there is trouble to report does eventually force them to do something. If everyone does this then we will make Ramsgreat!
No point ringing 999 there turn up just get out of there car then get back in and drive off
It isn’t just Ramsgate with problems like this.My daughter took my small grandson to the beach at Broadstairs at the weekend.On the way back a drunk man was repeatedly calling out to her as they went past the cinema .When they got back to the car a homeless man kept asking for money as she was trying to put her son in the car .He stood by the car door blocking it .She felt very intimidated .
This sounds like a good initiative. Congrats to the Mayor.
But it seems that it would only work if there was a continuous police presence. So the “known” individuals could be spotted early.
But that would require sufficient numbers of Police to have permanently stationed Officers in Ramsgate who know the town. NOT just Officers who have to whizz from place to place in cars because there are so few of them.
I know that it has been said many times, but ,ten years ago , we had 20,000 MORE Police Officers than we have now! The Tory government cut back and cut back over that time. With the results we see now.
They now claim they will ADD 20,000 new Officers but that seems to be taking a while and there is little sign of Police Stations being re opened .
It’s a bit like the £16 billion they just announced for military spending.(OMG where are they going to start a war now!!)
It turns out that they are already £13 billion in debt for military gear already supplied. So they are really just making up for all the money they SHOULD have been spending for over a decade.
All those years of “austerity” and cut backs that we have just endured! And a government that justified it all. Now the same people are telling us to vote for them as they are going to put right all the things they put wrong!!
Let’s look at this, ferral gangs of youths, travelers living in car parks, shops closing no police presence courts handing out ludicrous sentences. Why go into any town center?
There are several reasons for going into a town centre, though fewer are valid at the moment. Shopping, going to the library, the dentist, the optician, the pub, a restaurant, a market, a gallery, a place of worship; visiting friends and relations; just going for a walk…plenty of reasons for going to the town centre.