POLICE have acted to protect families who say they are being harassed by drug-taking teenagers at a popular children’s play area.
Hammersmith and Fulham Police are introducing a dispersal zone around the area in Eel Brook Common, Fulham, which allows them to order out and ban anyone they believe will act in an unruly way.
Families who use the play area have reported groups of up to 20 young people intimidating them and smoking cannabis.
The move comes after arrests and warnings for cannabis use that police have issued over several months.
Sergeant Andy Woods, from Hammersmith and Fulham Police, said: “The local Safer Neighbourhood Team have listened to the community and worked alongside the local authority to provide a solution to the issues being experienced on Eel Brook Common.
“The dispersal zone will assist the police and our partners in dealing with anti-social behaviour, especially during the busy summer period."
Councillor Greg Smith, Hammersmith and Fulham cabinet member for residents' services, added: “This dispersal zone gives the police extra powers to target the louts and reclaim a popular play area so it is safe and enjoyable for young children.”
The zone comes into force from August 15 and will run for four months, also covering Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes night.
The zone gives officers power to immediately order out anyone involved in anti-social behaviour and ban them for at least 24 hours. Anyone breaching the dispersal zone’s conditions could face three months in jail, or a £2,500 fine.