Litter, large groups, and public urinating – Police secure additional power to protect Staffordshire beauty spots



Police officers in the Staffordshire Moorlands have secured additional powers to help clampdown on nuisance behaviour.

Officers have been concerned an increase in visitors since the coronavirus lockdown easing has led to illegal parking, litter, groups congregating, and people urinating in public.

But they have now secured additional section 34 powers which mean they can order people to leave an area for the purpose of or reducing the likelihood of members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed, distressed or the occurrence of crime and disorder.

High visibility patrols will be taking place in the areas of Alstonefields, Ilam, Dovedale, Grindon, Stanshope and Wetton including Wetton Mill, Thor’s Cave and Blore Pasture. Officers will be telling groups to leave where necessary, and anyone failing to disperse could be arrested.

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Chief Inspector Mark Thorley of Staffordshire Police authorised the new order, which began at 5pm today (03 June) and continues for 48 hours.

He said, “Over the recent weeks increasing numbers of visitors have travelled to the rural beauty spots in the Staffordshire Moorlands, with many driving from the East and West Midlands to enjoy the scenery.

“We appreciate that the majority of people cause no issues, however we have received a number of complaints relating to inconsiderate and anti-social behaviour with concerns also being raised by local residents.

“The dispersal orders in these areas will not be applied indiscriminately and officers will continue to differentiate between those enjoying a day out and the minority engaging in nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

“I’d like to remind anyone thinking of travelling to the moorlands that currently not all car parks are open and public toilets are not available. If you do choose to travel here please follow the countryside code and respect the local communities.”

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