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Dispersal order in place ahead of Embankment planned party

29 May 2020

A dispersal order encompassing the Embankment in Peterborough will be in place this weekend in a bid to prevent a planned ‘party’.

Information has been received about an event which is planned for the area from 7pm tomorrow evening (Saturday 30 May).

In order to prevent the event from going ahead, a dispersal order has been granted and will be in place from 5pm tomorrow which will give police extra powers to remove people from the area.

The order has been granted under Section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and gives police officers the power to exclude a person from an area for a period of up to 48 hours and seize any item or equipment that may be used as part of the mass gathering such as sound equipment, barbecues and vehicles.

Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “We are aware of a planned gathering at the Embankment tomorrow evening, my message is clear – do not turn up expecting to be a part of this event as you will be turned away. The government restrictions on gatherings as a result of Covid-19 remain in place, it is an offence to be part of such activity.

“While we appreciate this action prevents all members of the public from using this area, including those who would be adhering to social distancing guidelines and not causing a nuisance to the wider community, we hope people understand the necessity behind this in order to prevent what has the potential to be a mass gathering with anti-social behaviour and potential crime.

“This is not something we do lightly, but we do not want a repeat of the Bank Holiday’s events in Paston which caused significant concern from the local community.

“Since the start of lockdown our approach has focussed on engagement, explaining and encouraging, and turning to enforcement as a last resort, however, we have to act more robustly to anticipated events such as this which puts our communities at risk.

“Police resources will be in place to ensure this event, or any similar events, do not go ahead, and to provide reassurance to our communities. We are still in the middle of a national health crisis and lives are still at risk.”

Police have been working closely with Peterborough City Council and a number of public car parks will be closed from 5pm; Riverside, Bishops Road, Wrinna, Regional Pool and Potters Way. Signs will be in place to ensure members of the public have advanced notice of the closing time if using the car parks earlier in the day.

Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “I need to make it clear to everyone in Peterborough that the recent relaxation of lock down rules, and those planned to come into effect from Monday changes things only very slightly.

“I would appeal to everyone in our city to keep to the rules and not gather in large groups – to protect themselves, their families and vulnerable people in our communities. Most people are doing this and I thank them for it.

“But if small groups begin to act in an irresponsible manner it risks us all facing a tightening of the lock down rules, or worse – there will be more illness and potentially more deaths. So please do not risk losing the gains we have made so far.”

Details on the current government restrictions can be found here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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