Police gain new powers to combat youth disorder in Wainfleet

Police have been given new powers to combat youth disorder in Wainfleet after an increase in antisocial behaviour over recent weeks threatened public safety.

Constables and PCSOs patrolling the Wainfleet area from today will be authorised to disperse groups of two or more if they have caused intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress to the public or are considered likely to do so.

Sergeant Andy Hickinbottom said: “Verbal abuse and intimidating behaviour from young people in the community is never acceptable and our officers in the Neighbourhood Policing Team are experienced in engaging with such groups and exerting a positive influence on their behaviour.

“However, when the usual methods are unsuccessful and the antisocial behaviour involves activities such as throwing stones at passing cars, Lincolnshire Police and East Lindsey District Council will use every power available to us to keep the public safe.”

The new powers were sought after groups of 20 or more youths were seen roaming the town, abusing passersby and risking their own lives by trespassing on rail tracks and climbing on stationary carriages.

However, Wainfleet All Saints Town Council’s vice chairman Coun Andy Pogson fears the order will be ineffective in combating these incidents without more uniformed officers to patrol the streets.

He said: “We have two PCSOs in Wainfleet that are brilliant but as far as uniformed officers or bobbies on the beat we don’t see anything.

“It’s OK to have an order but if you don’t have the officers to enforce it you might as well not bother.

“People in Wainfleet are starting to think there’s no point reporting anything to the police because they never get any response.

“The police management in this area is absolutely useless and that’s part of the reason why the youth think they can get away with behaving the way they do.”

Coun Pogson hopes the town council’s plans to build a skate park may help the problem by reducing youth boredom, which he believes is one of the most significant causes of their antisocial behaviour.

ELDC has also worked with Lincolnshire Police to tackle antisocial behaviour in Wainfleet by installing temporary CCTV cameras and supporting the dispersal order application.

Portfolio holder for communities Coun Sandra Harrison said: “No one should feel unsafe when walking the streets and we hope that combined with robust policing, the dispersal order will go some way to addressing the issue for the community.”

The dispersal order covers Wainfleet, Wanfleet All Saints and Wainfleet St Mary and will be reviewed after three months.