Friday 25th October 2019,
North Edinburgh Community News

Dispersal zones in north Edinburgh to curb antisocial behaviour

Police have confirmed that seven dispersal zones are being set up in Edinburgh to combat antisocial behaviour and disorder over the Bonfire weekend.

The zones cover areas in North East, North West, South East and South West Edinburgh and will be in operation between 2pm and midnight Friday 1st November to Tuesday 5th November.

Under the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004, police have a Power of Dispersal within the designated zones authorised by Edinburgh Superintendent Bob Paris.

This means that they can instruct any people in groups of two or more who are congregating and behaving in an antisocial manner to disperse and if they do not live there to leave the zones, and then not to return for up to 24 hours.

If they do return, they can be arrested.

Chief Inspector Murray Starkey said “Police in Edinburgh have been working closely with our partners at the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service through the citywide Community Improvement Partnership specifically set up in response to the events we saw over the Bonfire period in 2017.

“Although the number of calls concerning antisocial behaviour dropped last year, and more significantly there was not the level of damage caused or levels of violence displayed from 2017, there were still pockets of antisocial behaviour, damage and disruption, which caused alarm and distress for our communities.

“This type of behaviour remains completely unacceptable.

“As we witnessed last year, the use of dispersal zones enabled police to robustly tackle antisocial behaviour and general disorder in key areas of the city, allowing us to move on people who are causing a nuisance.

“Anyone who is banned will receive a copy of the map so that it is clear where they should not be and that they will be arrested and put before the courts if they are found to have returned to continue the same behaviour.

“Use of these powers and the areas the zones cover have been well planned and are based upon the issues we experienced over the past two years. It is just one tool that we will be utilising to make these areas safer and help people to feel safer over this busy time.

“Specialist resources will be available to complement local officers who will be on patrol across Edinburgh over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.”

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