Residents of Papworth will be aware that between January and April 1st 2013 a dispersal order was in place for the parish to control anti-social motorists. The order was put in place for three months having been authorised by Superintendent Paul Fullwood. Officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team gathered statements from over 30 people who had complained about noise and disruption caused by large groups meeting in the village. Our work with local residents, businesses and councillors gave us a clear picture of the misery and annoyance caused by these gatherings.
The order was believed to be the first use of this kind in the UK, in trying to tackle the problem of so called “boy racers”. Orders of this kind can only be instigated after consultation with the district authority and authorisation from a senior Police Officer, and any order put in place must be reviewed every three months.
The order proved to be successful; in the three month period only one report was taken about vehicle nuisance. Whilst the order has been in place the Safer Neighbourhood Team has been contacted by a number of individuals who are involved in organising car enthusiast meetings to discuss the problems. It has provided an excellent opportunity to try and resolve some of the longer term issues.
In April 2013 the order was reviewed and the decision was taken not to renew it. Having consulted again with local councillors and residents we believe that it is now appropriate to instigate longer term plans to combat the problem. A dispersal order of this kind cannot be indefinite, so for the future the Safer Neighbourhood Team remain in contact with a number of local residents who provided information for the initial order. Should a problem occur again in the future the team will be able to swiftly re-evaluate the need for a new order. Residents who witness anti-social driving should report it immediately to allow officers to attend. In the longer term residents’ reports help build a more accurate picture, and justification for any new dispersal order should it be required.