A constable in uniform may use dispersal powers to direct a person who is in a public place to leave the locality of that place and not to return for a specified period (maximum 48 hours) if two conditions are met: (i) the constable has reasonable grounds to suspect that the presence or behaviour of the person in the locality has contributed to or is likely to contribute to members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed or distressed, or the occurrence in the locality of crime of disorder; and (ii) the constable considers that giving a direction to a person under this section is necessary for the purpose of removing or reducing the likelihood of the events mentioned in (i). The constable may also require the surrender of an item being used to harass, alarm or distress members of the public.
The direction must be given in writing (unless not reasonably practicable), specifying the locality to which it relates and imposing requirements as to the time by which the person must leave and the manner in which they must do so (including the route). The constable should tell the person that failing without reasonable excuse to comply with the direction is an offence. If the constable reasonably believes that the offender is under 16, he/she may remove the person to a place where the person lives or a place of safety.
This power is designed to combine the most effective elements of the various current police powers into a single, less bureaucratic police power. A significant limitation in current police powers to disperse individuals causing ASB is that they have to be agreed in advance and can only be used in a pre-arranged area. In a fast moving situation, where groups can quickly convene to cause ASB or disorder and then move to different areas, the current powers are ineffective.
Full ASB Powers available for download plus PCSO/Police Officer Guide