Police have been granted extra powers in parts of Herne Bay after reports of big groups fighting, kicking cars, intimidating pedestrians and hurling racist abuse. As part of the Safer Canterbury District Partnership, Kent Police and Canterbury council have designated Heron ward a ‘dispersal area’. Police can now make sure big groups of people break up, and once asked to leave the area people are not allowed to return within 24 hours.
According to the police large groups of youngsters, sometimes as many as 40 at a time, have been meeting up at weekends in the area. Police officers will also confiscate alcohol and any youngster found drunk will be escorted home. The parents or guardians of children involved will get a letter and may be visited by the local police. The new powers are likely to last for six months from April, including the summer months when the problem is usually worst.
The dispersal order will be in place in the High Street, William Street, Queen Street, King’s Road, Beach Street, Hanover Street and the William Street and King’s Road car parks. Police will also be travelling on trains and buses to monitor the youngsters, who are thought to also come from Whitstable and Canterbury.