Dispersal zone to combat drugs and gangs in Finsbury Park

POLICE have hit back against gangs of youths spreading fear in Finsbury Park by introducing a five month dispersal zone.

As part of an operation to tackle drug related crime and intimidation, officers have been given new powers to stop rowdy kids congregating on the Six Acres and Andover estates, off Seven Sisters Road, and in the Wray Crescent open space, off Tollington Park.

The Dispersal Order means police can move on groups of two or more youths who are involved in or are likely to become involved in crime or anti-social behaviour. Those who fail to comply will be arrested.

The Tollington and Finsbury Park Safer Neighbourhoods teams (SNTs) will also be stepping up police patrols in the evenings, while the Youth Engagement team will be engaging with the kids to try to divert them away from crime.

Sergeant Chris Walsh, from Finsbury Park SNT, said: “We will be working with Islington Council and local residents to ensure that permanent solutions are in place to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the area by the time the order comes to an end.”

Councillor Barbara Sidnell, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “We don’t do this without good reason. Residents told us they had a problem with groups of younger people causing problems.

“Groups of youths intent on causing trouble will now be broken up by the police who have our full support. We’ll review this to see if we need to extend the dispersal zone if the problem behaviour doesn’t stop.”