Officers tackle ASB in Lozells

We’ve been using our latest technology to assist with issues faced by residents and businesses in Lozells.

A dispersal order was granted under section 35 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 covering Lozells Road, Villa Road and Heathfield Road this week. This gives officers the power to disperse anyone engaged in anti-social behaviour such as street drinking, begging or prostitution from the area for up to 48 hours.  

Residents and businesses regularly complain to us about how these issues are causing a blight on our community and affecting their daily lives. The dispersal order is another tool allowing us to remove those causing problems from an area and arrest them if they return.  

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To help officers do this, the force has developed a new app for officers’ mobile devices so they can see where all live dispersals are, including maps, and the people who have been dispersed from those areas.

They can take a photo of anyone they disperse, show them details of the dispersal order and get them to sign to acknowledge they are aware of what it means, while offering effective signposting for issues such as street drinking, drug usage and prostitution.

After that anyone returning to the area within 48 hours can be arrested.

Within 24 hours on Monday (19 July), five people were dispersed from the area for a number of reasons, and two of those were later arrested for breaching the dispersal order along with offences for begging and being drunk and disorderly. They were later charged and given suspended prison sentences at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

Sgt Phil Southern said: “Local residents and their businesses often tell us how much low level but persistent offences such as begging and public drunkenness affect their livelihoods and enjoyment of their local area.  

“The reaction from the public has been overwhelmingly positive at seeing uniformed officers patrolling the area and taking proactive action to remove those small number of individuals who commit offences. In fact Lozells Road and Heathfield Road emptied of those that create so many calls for service within 30 minutes of us arriving!”

We want to show the community that the police will take action to reduce and prevent instances of anti-social behaviour and disorder on our streets. A dispersal order is currently in place on Soho Road to continue this work.

Combined with our recent initiatives including street watches and our pop up police station in Lozells we want to strengthen our links with the local community and improve our responsiveness to their needs. 

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