Brawling youths remain banned from Hammersmith bus station
H&F Council and the Police have agreed to extend the dispersal order for another three months to get shot of the rowdy louts once and for all.
Hammersmith Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant Paul Goulden says, "Everybody who uses the bus garage has supported the dispersal order and the vast majority of school children say they now feel safer using the area.”
The original no go zone went live in September 2006 and since then complaints about rival gangs meeting at Broadway have been reduced but not completely eradicated.
“Our tough stance is getting results,” says Councillor Greg Smith, cabinet member for crime & antisocial behaviour. “The additional powers we have given the Police are helping them to create a safer bus station. Before we introduced the dispersal order we had regular reports of loutish behaviour and even some yobs squaring up to bus conductors and other passengers.”
Historically commuters had complained about: Youths forcing their way onto buses and knocking passengers into the busy road; Large groups of more than 50 teenagers blocking entrances and intimidating other passengers; Older teenagers egging on younger ones to fight each other; General loutish behaviour including swearing, shouting, pushing and shoving leading to a threatening atmosphere for other passengers.
Praising the scheme local resident, Jenny Butler, says, "The bus station now feels a lot safer. There are fewer yobs hanging around, they used to be very intimidating."
The extension of the zone means Police can continue to banish troublemakers if they are causing or are likely to cause intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress. If they refuse to go they can be arrested.
Cllr Smith concludes, “We are winning the battle against hooligans in the borough and yobs loitering around the bus station, with nothing better to do than intimidate other passengers, have had their last warning.”
The zone also allows children under 16 years and not under the effective control of an adult to be marched home if they are up to no good.
January 26, 2007