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A dispersal order will be in place ahead of the Leigh-on-Sea Christmas lights switch-on this evening, Friday November 29.
The order will work to prevent any anti-social behaviour at this community event. It will be in place from 3pm this afternoon until 11.59pm tonight.
Any person, or groups, perceived to be behaving in an anti-social or aggressive manner can be moved on from the area. If they return within 24 hours of that time, they can be arrested.
Please note that the roads in the vicinity will also be closed for the duration of the switch-on, which will allow those attending to enjoy the event safely. Anyone who prevents the re-opening of the roads will be moved as allowed by the dispersal order.
Inspector Ian Hughes, of Southend’s Community Policing Team, said: “I have no doubt that this is going to be a great evening for everyone in Leigh – it’s always a great time for the community to come together and get into the festive spirit.
“In the past we’ve had issues with the small groups, mostly teenagers, which has resulted in intimidation towards families and business-owners, and has hindered the re-opening of roads and the dismantling of floats.
“The dispersal order is in place to prevent this from happening and to support the event organisers. Anyone who acts anti-socially, or obstructs our officers, will be issued a dispersal notice and moved on.
“I hope that everyone in Leigh has a great time this evening – the officers, myself and partner agencies will be there to help you enjoy the festive cheer and keep everyone safe.”
From the east, the dispersal order will run between the western end of Leigh Road, including Old Leigh Road and the Drive from London Road to the Ridgeway.
In the south, it will run from the Ridgeway, including Cliff Gardens, Grand Parade, Cliff Parade, Leigh Hill and New Road.
In the west, it will include the western kerb of Hadleigh Road and Grange Road, which includes the northern kerb of Glendale Gardens, and the western kerb of Elm Road from New Road, finishing on London Road.
The north will include the southern kerb of London Road and will run from Elm Road to Leigh Road.