Antisocial youths face ban from Aberdeen city centre
● Police ask for powers to crack down on ‘ core few’
Trouble some children as young as 12 are facing a 24- hour ban from Aberdeen city centre for misbehaving in public.
Police are asking for the power to prohibit youths for a day in the city’s main areas following a rise in antisocial behaviour.
A public consultation on the dispersal zone has now been launched to try and tackle the problem.
Officers have identified a “core few” who are “intent on causing harm” and say the situation is made all the more challenging because the group ranges in age between 12 and 20.
Groups of youngsters are coming from outlying areas like Peterhead, Ellon, Banchory and Inverurie to congregate and cause trouble in the city.
Last month, a brawl broke out involving 30 youth sin the city centre. Just days later three young people, including a 15- year- old boy, were charged in connection with an attempted murder on Union Terrace.
Under the dispersal order, which would be in place for three months, officers would be able to order groups of two or more to leave specific areas between 12pm and midnight.
Children caught back there would be reported to the youth justice management unit. Adults could face a £ 2,500 fine or a three month custodial sentence.
Inspector Vicky Stables said: “This is to break the cycle of offending.
“This is for those intent on causing harm – t hose are going about in an intimidating manner.
“Those who come to the city centre legitimately and behave in a perfectly normal manner will not be targeted.
“Just because you’ re in a group of five or six does not mean you will be asked to leave.”
It would give police the power to order groups of young people behaving anti- socially to leave the area unless they live there and not return for 24 hours.
Police say they would try to divert youngsters to more positive activities and support such as social workers or the Streetsport youth sport sessions across Aberdeen.
The proposed area to be zoned off includes the whole of the central Union Street, the main shopping centres and the surrounding areas to try prevent “moving the problem along” to another part of the city.
Insp Stables said: “It is quite a significant area – we’re conscious of that.”