A POLICE dispersal order will be in place in Witham over bonfire night weekend as officers look to clamp down on antisocial behaviour.

The order, in place to give officers additional powers to tackle any antisocial behaviour throughout the weekend, is in place from 3pm today, Friday, November 3, until 6am on Sunday morning.

Police say they have received “a number of reports” in relation to disorder relating to fireworks in the River Walk area of Witham over the last few days.

“Some of those reports related to fireworks being let off into the road and train line”, a spokesman added.

The order will give officers the power to order groups of people suspected of causing antisocial behaviour to leave the area.

Under the order, anyone directed to leave cannot return within 48 hours.

Any breach of the order would potentially result in arrest.

Braintree and Witham Times: The dispersal order in place in Witham over the weekendThe dispersal order in place in Witham over the weekend (Image: Essex Police)

Acting Inspector Kev Mayle, of the Braintree and Uttlesford Community Policing Team, said: “The November 5 weekend should be a weekend to enjoy for everyone, we know that and we hope our community will do just that.

“But we also have to act when we have had reports of behaviour which goes beyond enjoyment, into the realms of antisocial and dangerous.

“Putting this order in place is one tool available to us and we will also have officers out and about across the town to make sure all our residents feel safe and able to enjoy their weekends.”

As well as the enforcing the order, officers say they will also deal appropriately within the existing law.

Law regarding fireworks

It is illegal to:

  • possess adult fireworks (all fireworks except category 1 fireworks - party poppers, sparklers, throwdowns etc) in a public place by anyone under the age of 18;
  • possess category 4 fireworks (professional display fireworks) by anyone other than a fireworks professional;
  • supply adult fireworks to those under 18;
  • throw or cast or fire any firework in or into any highway, street, thoroughfare or public space (this would include throwing or firing from a private place into a public place, street, highway etc);
  • to light any fire or discharge any firearm or firework (without lawful authority or excuse) within 50 feet of the centre of a highway which consists of or comprises a carriageway, and as a consequence the highway is damaged.