Stop the under 16s curfew in Bangor
To: North Wales Police and Gwynedd Council
Dear Inspector Barrasford, please lift and completely re-think the use of a dispersal order as a means of tackling anti-social behavior in Bangor. This law specifically targets people under 16 and states that they are not allowed in certain areas around the city center between the hours of 9pm and 6am unless accompanied by a responsible adult. It is discriminatory and was bought in without adequate public consultation and should be removed at once.
Why is this important?
The law is a discriminatory one which relies on an individual police officer's judgement and, as such, is open to abuse. The police officer is open to criticism for misuse of the order and under 16 year old's are vulnerable to overzealous application and miss-accusations. The discriminatory nature of the order encourages the hatred and fear of young people and allows some to feel justified in discriminatory attitudes toward them. It encourages those who have suffered at the hands of badly behaved youths to believe that they are all like that and to become more afraid. It will only serve to alienate young people and make them feel that the police are there simply to control them but not to protect them. Already young people in Bangor are avoiding going out to the cinema and to after school clubs for fear of being caught in the curfew or of being beaten up by the marauding gangs that this order implies are on the loose in the city center. Bangor is a lovely historic place with much to offer young and old alike. It suffers from very little anti-social behavior apart from a very few people in limited areas and the usual after pub and club problems present in all cities. It is suffering in the downturn from an empty high street (the longest in the country) but there was no rioting in Bangor last year, the out of town JJB sports, PC World etc were not ransacked as was seen in other towns and cities across the UK, so why Bangor? There was no consultation with the public or even their elected representatives on the City Council. This is despite the ACPO guidance that there should be consultation with the effected community and a Rowntree report, which concludes that these laws have only been effective where consultation and involvement had taken place. This law is badly worded, heavy handed, discriminatory and draconian and it should be stopped now!
How it will be delivered
We will hand it in to the office of Inspector Simon Barrasford. If possible to him in person. We will inform the press when we intend to deliver it.