Police arrest youths during clampdown in Tonbridge High Street

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Two arrests were made in Tonbridge town centre over the weekend as part of a police crackdown on antisocial and abusive behaviour by groups of youths.

A 17-year-old boy from Tonbridge has been bailed pending further enquiries until 26 August and an 18-year-old man from Tunbridge Wells has also been bailed until 29 July.

An official public dispersal order was put in place on the High Street following concerns raised over people causing a public disturbance outside shop premises at the junction of Avebury Avenue.

According to police, the order, which applied to anyone over 10 years of age, ran from Friday 4pm until 4pm on Sunday. It was put in place as officers believed further incidents of antisocial behaviour were anticipated.

Police confirmed the force had received reports from both residents and businesses about abusive language and intimidating behaviour. This led to two arrests being made during the dispersal order, with a further five instances of officers instructing people to move on from the area across the weekend.

Speaking on the dispersal order, Sergeant Mark Ginsberg said such measures were used as a preventative means of tackling antisocial incidents.

He said: “We don’t have a big problem with antisocial behaviour in Tonbridge. However, where and when issues do arise these powers are an effective way of dealing with people, whose actions can cause offence or distress to other members of the public.”

Howard Porter, Chairman of Tonbridge Town Team, stressed his group wanted to ensure everyone enjoys the town centre and respects others’ enjoyment of it.

He said: “We need to remember that Tonbridge has a low crime rate and people shouldn’t be discouraged from going out and enjoying everything the town has to offer because of what are, thankfully, isolated incidents.

“We are confident that the police will continue to do everything they need to do to keep people safe.”

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