Banning power is working in the town centre

Acting Chief Insp Martin Moizer.
Acting Chief Insp Martin Moizer.

A leading officer says new powers to ban nuisance offenders from Castleford town centre is having the desired effect, with figures showing a drop in trouble.

Temporary dispersal orders have been imposed three times since the summer, which gives officers the power to ban individuals from the area for up to 48 hours, or be locked up.

This includes persistent street drinkers and teenage troublemakers causing anti-social behaviour.

During the first order, 14 people were ordered out of the town centre, followed by eight during the second crackdown.

Most recently, just three were tackled and acting Chief Inspector for neighbourhood operations, Martin Moizer hopes the message is finally getting through.

He said: “It’s targeting the ones who are causing harm to our community, and they are having to desired effect because we are getting less and less.

“It gives us a different approach, a different angle and a new set of powers.”

It was hoped a public space protection order (PSPO) introduced in the town last year, could help banish problematic street drinkers.

However, some offenders were able to work around the legislation by stashing drink and only having to hand over the alcohol they have on them.

Insp Moizer says the dispersal orders allowed them to ban the offender for a short time, while the threat of being locked up was also enough to make many teenage trouble causers think twice.

“It’s not something we’d used before and there are some individuals who we regularly deal with who were not accustomed to it, it caught a few of them out,” added Chief Insp Moizer.

With offenders added to a database, he says the police can then plot the next move for each offender, which could include imposing criminal behaviour orders (CBOS) to ban them from town centres indefinitely.