Police have issued a dispersal order covering part of Richmond town centre and have carried out extra patrols in response to a reported rise in anti-social behaviour.

It comes after police responded to multiple incidents over the past week and through the bank holiday weekend - with reports of mass gatherings of young people in violation of social distancing rules.

The first police incidents appeared to follow the hot weather in the early part of last week, which saw many people flock to the riverside to soak up the sun.

Last Tuesday, March 30, officers were called to the riverside at around 9pm following reports of a person having been struck with a bottle by an unknown suspect.

A statement confirmed this was being investigated as an assault.

But despite temperatures falling as the week went on, the area continued to attract large gatherings into the bank holiday weekend.

Dispersal zone

Dispersal zone

Police issued a dispersal order on Easter Sunday, with a statement confirming officers had been called to reports of a large gathering of young people at the riverside.

Upon arrival, many of the young people gathered were said to have fled the scene, but police said some had thrown fireworks towards officers.

In a further statement, police shared a picture of a large knife recovered from the area.

An updated statement on Tuesday (April 6) confirmed the dispersal order had been reissued until 8.30pm for the area.

When a dispersal order is in place, the following actions could lead to an arrest:

  • Fail to comply with a direction from PCs/PCSOs to disperse from the area
  • Fail to surrender items likely to cause antisocial behaviour when asked by PCs/PCSOs
  • Return within a specified period after being directed to disperse from the area