Dispersal powers

MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Question By: 
Tony Arbour
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Research has suggested that in some areas of the UK, new dispersal powers are being issued to deal with individuals committing serious crimes, rather than just the low-level anti-social behaviour which they were intended for. Examples included one person in South Yorkshire who was issued with a dispersal notice after being found in possession of a ClassA drug, rather than being arrested. Since their introduction, how many dispersal notices have the Metropolitan Police Service issued, and what processes are in place to prevent them being used when other more serious sanctions would be appropriate?


Answer for Dispersal powers

Answer for Dispersal powers

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The MPS does not centrally record the issuing of dispersal notices, which are used widely across London, particularly in central London boroughs with challenging night-time economy issues. 

A Dispersal Order may be issued with the consent of the relevant Local Authority by a Police Superintendent or above where they have reasonable grounds for believing that members of the public have been intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed in public places in a specific area and that anti-social behaviour is significant and a persistent problem in that area.  Detailed guidance has also been published both internally, and by the Home Office, to all front-line staff, which details the powers available to tackle anti-social behaviour.   Together these measures help to ensure the appropriate use of these powers.