NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Dispersal zone begins in Aberdeen city centre amid crime upsurge

Union Terrace
Image caption The dispersal zone follows a rise in antisocial behaviour in Aberdeen city centre

A dispersal zone is being introduced in Aberdeen city centre from this weekend to tackle un upsurge in disorder.

It comes after police said there had been a rise in assaults, antisocial behaviour and vandalism.

The zone will allow officers to order groups of more than two people, suspected of antisocial behaviour, to leave the area.

Those who ignore the order, or return to the area within 24 hours, can be arrested.

The dispersal zone is taking effect from noon on Friday and is expected to run until the end of August.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption The zone will cover shopping centres and Union Street, Union Terrace and Market Street

Police have a "power of dispersal" within a designated zone using legislation set out by the Scottish government under the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004.

The Aberdeen area affected covers Union Street, the Bon Accord Centre and Union Square shopping centres, Union Terrace and Market Street.

Serious incidents

It will be in place every day between noon and midnight.

Insp Vicky Stables said: "In the last few weeks we have seen a number of young people from across the north east, in addition to those from Aberdeen, congregating in the city centre and some have been choosing to engage in antisocial behaviour.

"We have also seen incidents of a serious nature, including an alleged attempted murder which three people have been charged with.

"Previously we have seen dispersal orders work successfully in other areas of the city and elsewhere in the country and it is hoped that this will have a positive impact on those who live, work and visit the city centre."

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