New zone for Bognor Regis moves closer

WORK is progressing on the first dispersal zone in Bognor Regis.

The measure to tackle anti-social behaviour is set to come into effect next month.

It will cover the town centre and enable police officers and community support officers to ban those causing trouble from the zone for up to 24 hours.

Sergeant Neil Harvey, of Bognor police station, has championed the launch of the zone.

He said at the town council’s meeting on Monday the British Transport Police’s superintendent had approved the zone earlier that day.

That came after West Sussex superintendent of Sussex Police had backed the measure.

It was with Arun District Council for the final approval.

“I am very hopeful that will take place,” he said. “A lot of things have to happen but things are looking positive.

“The zone will address a lot of the problems and concerns about people gathering and drinking in the town.”

He said the progress on the zone was much further advanced than any similiar measure had been in Bognor before.

Sgt Harvey previously said he had been prompted to act by the presence of ten to 15 persistent street drinkers. The dispersal power will apply to any group of two or more individuals deemed by the police to be capable of creating a nuisance in the designated zone.

It will cover every road from West Street along Canada Grove to the railway station and across to Hotham Park.

The coach park, the park and Gloucester Road will be included down to the seafront as well as the beach along to West Street.

Such zones were a feature of a 2003 law to tackle poor behaviour.