Second dispersal order issued as teenagers direct racist and threatening language at retail park staff
A second dispersal order has been put in place by police in East Lancashire due to the ‘appalling’ behavior of groups of teenagers.
In addition to the dispersal order put in place in Burnley earlier on Thursday, Colne Police said they had ‘little option’ and issued a 48-hour dispersal order in the North Valley area of the city after a number of teenagers were caught using racist and threatening language towards staff at the business park.
It comes after offensive graffiti was sprayed on the car of a member of staff who works at one of the business park businesses on Sunday evening.
This was followed by staff from the same company who were racially abused on Wednesday.
Dispersal order in Burnley town center after teenage riot
The staff ended up locking themselves inside the premises, fearing for their personal safety.
Inspector Andy Ainsworth said: “Due to the appalling behavior of a small section of teenagers, including the use of racist and threatening language and behaviour, we had no other choice. to put in place a 48-hour dispersal order in the North Valley area of Colne starting at 6 p.m. today.
“Since January 1, we have been called to 50 separate incidents at the North Valley Retail Park.
“This naturally caused distress to members of the public and staff, some of whom were targeted.
“As a neighborhood policing team, we have worked hard to address these issues, including increasing our presence in the area, working with partner agencies and trying to engage with young people who have caused problems.
“However, after two recent significant incidents, a section 34 dispersal order has now been permitted, contrary to the Anti-Social Behavior Crimes and Policing Act 2014.
“On Sunday night offensive graffiti was sprayed on the car of a member of staff who works in one of the businesses in the business park.
“Yesterday, staff from the same company were racially abused. The staff ended up locking themselves inside the premises, fearing for their personal safety.
“I’m sure you’ll agree that this behavior is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Colne.
“As shown on the map, the order will cover the majority of the retail park without affecting residential areas and will be in place until 6 p.m. Saturday.
“This means that where a uniformed officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person’s behavior has contributed or is likely to contribute to the harassment, alarm or distress of members of the public in the locality, or upon the commission of a crime or disorder, they may order a person to leave the designated locality (or part of the locality) for the duration of the authorization.
“Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.”