No-go zone for Stratford to beat yobs

Council and police work together in zero tolerance op

Police patrols will be stepped up in Stratford town centre...just in time for the Olympics.

A three-month dispersal zone has now been put in place as part of a crackdown on crime and antisocial behaviour.

The area will cover the town centre, including the area around Stratford Magistrates’ Court and along West Ham Lane.

It gives officers the power to disperse groups seen to harass and intimidate members of the public.

They can be banned from the zone for up to 24 hours.

Anyone caught breaching the terms of their exclusion faces arrest, a possible ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) and even imprisonment.

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The scheme is being implemented by Newham council-funded police officers and Newham Council enforcement officers.

Insp Sean McDermid, of Newham’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams. said police consulted closely with the community before launching the zone.

He said: “People have a right to feel safe in their community, and it is unacceptable that anybody should feel threatened by groups of people hanging around.

“Working in partnership with Newham Council we have decided to take a tough stance on anti-social behaviour to ensure the communities around the West Quadrant are fully supported in addressing the issue in the area.

“The planned dispersal orders and police operations offer the police, council and residents an opprtunity to tackle these issues swiftly and prevent serious activity from escalating.”

Newham Cllr Ian Corbett said the authority was investing more in increasing the safety of the borough’s residents.

“We have a zero tolerance approach to crime and antisocial behaviour.

“It simply won’t be tolerated in Newham in any shape or form.

“Crime and antisocial behaviour is unacceptable and we will never apologise for being tough on the criminals who make the lives of the hardworking majority a misery.”