AN outbreak of anti-social behaviour saw police using extra powers to break up a group of yobs in Walcot.

Officers increased patrols and put in force a dispersal notice after receiving reports of persistent nuisance behaviour by teenagers near the Co-operative store on Sussex Place, off Queens Drive on Wednesday night.

A police inspector must authorise the use of extra powers to order individuals suspected of causing trouble to leave the area for 48 hours.

Steve Allsopp, parish councillor for Walcot and Park North, said: “It’s disappointing. It’s not somewhere where we’ve previously had a issue.

“There’s a particular group that does some times move from place to place and it had been a problem outside the community centre.”

The parish said it has budgeted for a community and youth officer for 2019/20 and hopes it can provide more positive interventions to work alongside the work of the police.

“It is a concern,” he added. “They are a small number but they are not representative of young people generally. We are trying to respond positively.”

It is the second time the powers have had to be used in Swindon in the past week.

The same powers were used on Monday to disperse youths in Pinehurst to tackle a spike in anti-social behaviour around Beech Avenue and the Tree Courts Area.

A police spokeswoman commented on the unrest, which can be frightening to some residents.

“A Section 35 dispersal notice was put enforced in Sussex Place, Walcot, after we received reports of youths gathering and causing issues in the area at approximately 5pm.

“This covered the area near to the Co-op and and up to Somerville Road. “Dispersal orders are used to help reduce anti-social behaviour which can have a really negative impact on the residents in the area.”

The force also issued an appeal to parents to keep and eye on their children.

“We would urge parents to talk with their children and educate them about the impact that their behaviour, if they are involved, is having.

“Our response to Wednesday’s order allowed officers to send home anyone causing disorder or anti-social behaviour, or arrest them if they failed to comply,

“We will continue to take action against this kind of behaviour in a bid to combat these issues.”