Police have been given new dispersal powers to help crackdown on anti-social yobs after up to 100 unruly youths, some reported to be as young as eight, caused “chaos” in a Derbyshire town late at night.
Officers were called to Killamarsh Sports Centre, Stanley Street, after reports of between 60 and 100 youths outside the well-known meeting spot, some of who had travelled from areas in South Yorkshire.
Posts on the Killamarsh Village Watch Facebook page said the teens had been “throwing stones”, “ramming cars” and “intimidating pensioners”.
Sergeant Aidan Stones, who leads Killamarsh safer neighbourhood team, said: “The incident involving a large amount of youths was a rare occurrence but nevertheless we are taking it seriously.
“Anti-social behaviour of any kind – regardless of how many people are involved – will not be tolerated.
“This dispersal power gives us the power to tackle any emerging issues straight away and deal with those who may seek to cause problems within the area.
“Our aim is to make sure the Killamarsh community is safe from anti-social behaviour and we will be using the dispersal powers to achieve that.”
The new police powers will allow officers to break up groups of two or more who they believe could cause trouble and will cover the leisure centre, including Stanley Street and Bridge Street.
Initial reports on social media suggested the youths had been waiting for a fight to happen, but police said this did not occur.
One boy was detained to prevent a breach of the peace, but he was later released.
The incident comes after ten new neighbourhood watch groups were set-up following a spate of anti-social behaviour in the area.
The groups were dispersed, but kept meeting up again at various locations across the town, during the incident on Tuesday, April 5, at 9pm.
Killamarsh neighbourhood watch area coordinator, Kevin Wood, said: “It is a long time since anything like this happened.
“Over the last few months gangs of youths have been wandering the village, causing damage and chaos.
“To hear that kids as young as eight were involved was very shocking and disturbing.”
Call police on 101.