Powers to move on gangs of potential troublemakers in Hounslow town centre have once again been temporarily given to police.

Action has been taken after a large number of residents and business owners complained they were being harassed and intimidated by groups loitering in the area.

Sergeant Bev Green, of the Hounslow Central Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "This dispersal order will allow police to move those carrying out intimidating or anti-social behaviour out of the area. I encourage residents and businesses to contact Hounslow Central Team direct regarding any issues with this new dispersal order. Any information received will be kept in confidence."

From April 1 to September 20, groups causing or likely to cause anti-social behaviour on Hounslow High Street and surrounding roads will be asked to leave and not return for 24 hours. If they come back they can be arrested.

Nazim Virani, manager of the 90p Store in High Street, said: "Nowadays things are much better, but there should always be a little bit of pressure on them so they know to behave themselves. The police must be careful, they should only approach gangs they know are causing trouble otherwise it's unfair." 

Another shop owner, who didn't want to give his name, said: "Sometimes I feel scared when I see them hanging around. I've had people come into the shop and take money out of the till twice. I think it is a good idea because you must have evidence or the police can't do anything. They run away and there's nothing you can do. This might stop them being here in the first place."       

During the five months a dispersal zone was in place in Hounslow town centre last year, police moved on groups of youths on 120 different occasions. Six people were arrested after refusing to move, three of whom were later taken to court.

Last July Yasin Mohamed, 17, was given an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) banning him from High Street and the Treaty Centre for two years.

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