Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dispersal Order Extension?

Some potential good news this evening as I understand from a resident that the Dispersal Order in the Nightingale Avenue area of the ward is to be extended.

The area around the shops has been plagued with anti-social behaviour for years, and together with residents we were at our wits ends trying to combat the problem.

The Council joined forces with the Police, however, and an initial three-month Dispersal Order was made which ran until the middle of this month. Groups of people causing trouble could be moved on, and prevented from returning.

Generally it seems to have worked well, although I have have had to ring the Police once on behalf of a resident in Daryngton Close recently when youths were congregating again. It certainly makes sense to renew the Order again for a further three months - it's just a shame the Police couldn't tell us about it.


ian holme said...

Hi Nick,
Issues of youths congregrating, causing grief and intimidation are rife throughout the Borough and indeed the country.

However, I do wish that the police and councils (not that dbc are any worse than anyone else on this)would look at more creative ways of dealing with it than "banning orders" etc.
A perfect example is the Top Deck organisation in Yarm Road. This provides a facility for local kids to hang out with their mates, have a coke, watch sky or play pool etc. provided the behaviour is ok the staff and volunteers let them get on with it, no adults telling them what to do all the time, or orgainsie them in any way.(pretty much what we adults like to do down the pub, just without the alcohol)
This gets them off the streets, and encourges good behaviour by a card system, yellow-warning, red an eveings ban etc. it has proved to work.

Would it not be so refreshing for Dbc to roll out a number of these facilities around the borough, based upon the Top Deck model?

Sure, there would be start up cost, but ultimately the reduction in anti-social behaviour, policing and general nuisnance may well nullify much of the cost.

just a thought


Darlington Councillor said...

You're right, Ian, there isn't a single model that works, although often it's the more punitive approaches which grab the headlines and so get talked about.

In fact, the Council does provide facilities like the West Side Project in Branksome which operates very well. What we have found however, is that only certain young people now (and not those who tend to cause problems on the streets) want to engage with the old youth club model. Consequently the Council has been tailoring its approach to engage with these young people on the streets and divert them away from crime and anti-social behaviour.

To be effective, provision has to take into consideration all the various strategies that can be used. I have to say though that since the Dispersal Order was introduced, and the pole was erected in Springfield Playing Field, there has been far less ASB in my ward than was the case 12 months ago.

ian holme said...

Top Deck is far removed from the typical youth club model. I would suggest that you and your colleagues go along and see for yourselves.

It is almost an alchol free pub for youngsters. I can assure you that many of them are no angels, but they do appreciate the facility.