Anti-social behaviour in south Leamington has prompted police to seek powers to disperse groups of people who they think are likely to cause a disturbance.
Police officers and community support officers are now able to disperse groups of people - and if those requested to leave fail to do so, or return to the same area within 24 hours, they may be arrested.
A fine or up to three months in jail can be given to anyone convicted of anti-social behaviour offences - which include drunk and disorderly behaviour and begging.
Safer neighbourhood team sergeant Paul Calver said: “The purpose of this order is not to ruin people’s fun, but to ensure that we are able to deal effectively with particular groups whose behaviour has resulted in, or is likely to result in any member of the public being intimated, harassed, alarmed or distressed.”
The order will run until February 2 to cover the ‘peak periods’ of anti-social behaviour in the summer and over Christmas.
There are already dispersal zones in Leamington town centre, but from now they are also in Lower Avenue, Tachbrook Road, the Grand Union Canal, Clemens Street, Brunswick Street, Llewellyn Road, Alexander Road, Eagle recreation ground, Althorpe Street, George Street, Mill Street and Mill Gardens.
Warwick District councillor Michael Coker, chairman of the South Warwickshire Community Safety Partnership, said: “This order is to send a strong message to those who cause disruption to think twice before doing so.”