Q839: What are dispersal powers?
These are powers used in a wide range of situations in order to offer immediate relief to the community. These powers enable officers and PCSOs to direct a person who has engaged/likely to engage in anti-social behaviour, to leave a specified area and not to return for a period of 48 hours. The 'specified area' cannot include the place where they live/work.
The officer must believe that the behaviour is contributing/likely to contribute to anti-social behaviour and/or crime in the area and as such using the powers would be necessary to reduce crime levels. It may include confiscation of items (e.g. alcohol) and is available to anyone that appears over 10 years of age.
An example of when dispersal powers may be used would be if an individual was consuming alcohol in a town centre and as a result was being verbally abusive to members of the public. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and can result in imprisonment and/or a fine.
For further information on these powers we would advise that you contact your local policing team. You can do this via the non-emergency 101 number or alternatively by visiting your local force's website.