Arrest in Worthing after new measures to tackle anti-social behaviour have ‘desired effect’

A police officer has said the dispersal order that was authorised in Worthing town centre last week had had ‘the desired effect’ and that one arrest had been made.

The dispersal order, known as a section 34 order, was authorised for the town centre between 11am on Wednesday (February 27) and Friday (March 1) due to the increase in anti-social behaviour in the Guildbourne Centre, Warwick Street, Chapel Road, Montague Street and South Street areas, police said.

Police in Worthing town centre

Police in Worthing town centre

READ MORE: Police target anti-social behaviour in Worthing town centre with new measures

Under the order, police officers and PCSOs can tell individuals or groups, who are causing significant and persistent anti-social behaviour to leave the area and not return for up to 24 hours, according to police.

Alcohol can also be confiscated.

Police carried out daily patrols to enforce the dispersal order and talked to residents and businesses ‘to reassure them’ that action was being taken.

Reflecting on the success of the measure, Inspector Allan Lowe said: “The dispersal order has had the desired effect in Worthing town centre and we arrested one person for failing to comply with the order and being drunk and disorderly.

“At this stage I have no plans to reinstate the order but will monitor incidents reported to us on a daily basis.”

Steven Thomas, 44, unemployed, of no fixed address, was charged on Wednesday (February 27) with being drunk and disorderly in a public place and failing to comply with a section 35 directing excluding a person from an area, a police spokesman said.

He will appear at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Friday, March 15, confirmed police.

Police said last week that the decision to authorise the order had not been taken lightly.

Inspector Lowe said: “This dispersal zone will help us to combat anti-social behaviour which is primarily caused by the street drinking community in the town centre...we remain focused on seeking a long term solution working with our partners to resolve this issue.”

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