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Thatcham teenager fined for breaking dispersal order

18-year-old was in the town centre after police told him not to be there

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633


A teenager from Thatcham has been fined for failing to comply with a dispersal notice in the town.

Alex Lawson, aged 18, was among a group of young people drinking and shouting outside Thatcham Library around 8.40pm on July 28 this year. 

One of the group was also in possession of cannabis. 

Police asked the group to leave under section 35 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The act gives police powers to disperse people based on reasonable grounds that they have contributed or are likely to contribute to members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed or distressed, or the occurrence of crime or disorder.

Nine people, including Mr Lawson, of Farmhouse Mews, Thatcham, were asked to leave and handed a map of a 48-hour exclusion zone in the town.  

But at 4.30pm on July 30, Mr Lawson was seen in Thatcham Broadway and reported for summons for failing to comply with the order.

He pleaded guilty at Reading Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, September 27.

He was ordered to pay a total of £365 (a £250 fine, £85 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service and a surcharge to fund victim services for £30).

Neighbourhood Officer from the Problem Solving Team based at Newbury Police Station, PC Jon Bradford, said: "There have been ongoing reports of anti-social behaviour within Thatcham by members of the public, who have felt intimidated and distressed by large groups gathering in particular places in the town.

"This is not something we want within our community - we want residents and visitors of all ages to feel safe within the town.

"We will continue to deal with incidents of anti-social behaviour within the town - and hopefully this result will send a warning to those who intend to ignore dispersal notices."

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