Police are set to get a host of new powers to crack down on anti-social behaviour.
Officers will be able to close down drug dens within 48 hours, and keep them shut for up to six months. For the first time, the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Act gives police-style powers to accredited private security guards. Later in the year, security guards and Community Support Officers will get further powers under the same Act.
Also introduced are controversial new police powers to disperse groups of people who have gathered in an area designated an anti-social hotspot by the local council. The host of new powers created by David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, were designed to target yobs, nuisance neighbours, vandals and drug dealers who make life a misery for law-abiding residents.
New restrictions on air weapons, raising the age for legal possession from 14 to 17, also come in today. It will also be an arrestable offence to carry air guns in public “without lawful authority or excuse”.