Berkshire

Slough street drinking tackled by police

Powers have been given to police to disperse street drinkers near a children's play area in Slough, Berkshire.

Groups of people have been congregating and drinking in Chalvey, near to the Tower House Park playground.

Parents who take their children to the park have told Thames Valley Police they are intimidated by the drinkers.

The dispersal order, made in conjunction with Slough council, began at midnight and runs until 21 December.

Sabia Hussain, 30, secretary of the Chalvey Partnership residents' group, lives near Tower House Park and is a mother of a five-year-old.

She said the summer weather had prompted street drinkers to move to the playground, which was renovated a year ago.

She said: "Children get too frightened to go to the park. I've got a child and my concern is whether it is safe to take my child there."

The dispersal order means police will be able to move on people in groups of two or more, and tell people who do not live in the area to leave immediately and stay away for up to 24 hours.

If they return they face a £2,500 fine or a three-month jail term.

The order can also be used to give officers powers to return children aged 16 and under to their home, if they are not with a parent or an adult of a responsible age, between the hours of 2100 BST and 0600 BST.

Residents have reported anti-social behaviour from some teenagers in the area in recent months, police said.

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