COMPLAINTS about yobs causing a nuisance outside homes and shops has led to police putting a dispersal order in place in Benfleet at the weekend.

Police authorised the order, which bans groups of youths from congregating, for the Tarpots area of Benfleet to tackle continuous complaints of anti-social behaviour.

The dispersal order was put in place from 4.30pm on Friday, until 4.30pm yesterday.

Police took the action after a host of complaints from residents and businesses about groups of people gathering and causing a disturbance.

The order covered the Tarpots Corner area between the junction with High Road and the A13 London Road; Rushbottom Lane (North) to Louisa Avenue; from London Road to Linden Road to include the north side of pavement including all shops and Saxon Court; and the south pavement of London Road.

The order was made under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and gives police officers the power to order people causing anti-social behaviour to leave the area.

Tom Skipp, councillor for the Appleton Ward, which takes in part of the dispersal zone, welcomed the move.

He said: “In all honesty, I had not been made aware of any problems in that area recently.

“But I am pleased to hear that if problems have been occurring, that police are taken positive action to combat the issue.

“Anti social behaviour can have a hugely negative effect on residents living in the area.

“Dispersal orders are an effective tool, and if used properly will mitigate the complaints from residents.”

Police claimed anti social behaviour had been having a detrimental impact to the quality of life of residents and businesses in the area.

Acting inspector Mark McQuade, of the Castle Point neighbourhood policing team, said: “We have received a number of complaints from residents and businesses about a minority of people acting in an anti-social manner.

“This is having a detrimental impact on the quality of life for those living and working in the area.

“Hopefully, these measures will tackle any problems, however, residents are our eyes and ears and I’d encourage them to continue to report any issues to us as soon as they arise.”

The dispersal order was deemed a success after no incidents or arrests were made during the period it ran for, according to a spokesman for Essex Police.