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Vandalism Outbreaks in Ash Wharf Bring Police Dispersal Order

Published on: 10 May, 2021
Updated on: 11 May, 2021

By David Reading

Outbreaks of anti-social behaviour including criminal damage, arson and general bad behaviour in Ash Wharf area of Ash have caused police to issue a covering dispersal order.

This empowers them to order anyone suspected of crime or causing disorder every day between 2pm and midnight till June 14 to leave the area for up to 48 hours. Anyone under 16 can be ordered home if they are found unsupervised in public places after 9pm.

Map showing the extent of the area in which the Ash dispersal order is in force

Failure to comply is a criminal offence. Officers have urged residents to report all incidents so they can respond promptly.

Cllr Nigel Manning

The crackdown followed a meeting between Cllr Nigel Manning, chairman of Ash Parish Council, and police to discuss a string of incidents, including arson and criminal damage, and several arrests over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Cllr Manning told Ash Parish News, the website run by parish councillors, that police had assured him there would now be a dedicated person coordinating the response in the parish.

He also said police had confirmed there would be “an additional and permanent police presence within the village”. But there is confusion. Police told the Guildford Dragon any increase would cover only the duration of the dispersal order.

The council believes part of the problem lies in the lack of local activities for young people, particularly during lockdown. But now, following relaxation of lockdown restrictions, the Ash youth club is open again on Thursday evenings.

Carla Morson

Anti-social behaviour was identified as a priority for both candidates seeking election to the parish council. The winning candidate, Independent Cllr Carla Morson, said: “What has been amazing is the response from our community to this problem.

“Rather than just accepting the anti-social behaviour, which has been the case in the past, more people are reporting incidents and if possible getting photographic evidence to be passed to police.

“But none of the problems can be solved by police action alone. There has to be a multi-agency approach, involving all of the local authorities and voluntary organisations and charities. This is something I intend to pursue.”

Cllr Morson, also elected as Lib Dem county councillor for Ash, said the dispersal order should be extended to other parts of Ash where anti-social behaviour is also a problem.

Police have reported “a very slight increase” in reports of such incidents in Ash and Tongham from January to April this year, compared to the same period last year. These involve criminal damage, arson and bad behaviour towards residents.

Inspector Sam Turner said: “We are working hard to reduce anti-social behaviour and its wider impact on the Ash and Tongham communities. To do this, we need people to report incidents to us as quickly as possible.

“This allows us to build a bigger picture of what’s going on in the area, which in turn means we can better target our patrols and strategy. If you see any anti-social behaviour, please report it via our website, or by privately messaging our social media channels.”

To report an incident call 101 or complete an online form at https://www.surrey.police.uk. If you feel the situation may get heated or violent, or if someone is in immediate danger, call 999.

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test 5 Responses to Vandalism Outbreaks in Ash Wharf Bring Police Dispersal Order

  1. John Perkins Reply

    May 11, 2021 at 8:30 am

    So, having been confined to barracks for more than a year, young people are now running amok. Who would’ve thought it?

  2. Edward Hebington Reply

    May 11, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Remember when there were police officers: and inspector, sergeants and constables covering the whole of the Ash area, able to nip these incidents in the bud before they got out of hand? Closing police stations, moving out local officers who actually lived in the area has not worked. Surrey Police are not performing, it is obvious.

    Let’s hope the new PCC starts asking the right questions.

  3. L Sutlieff Reply

    May 11, 2021 at 10:56 am

    It’s all very well to say ring 101 but when I tried last week after my car window was shot at by a group of boys with a pellet gun on the Vale Road, I was directed to the website.

    I am not used to using the internet, so gave up.

    • Pat Scott Reply

      May 12, 2021 at 5:59 pm

      I do understand that holding on for the “101” Police number can be frustrating and also that not everyone is a wizard with IT and computers, but there is also Crimestoppers to contact on 0800 555 111 They are wonderful, and do guarantee 100% complete anonymity. They are an independent Charity but do help with any Police issues/matters/crimes.

  4. JC Denton Reply

    May 12, 2021 at 11:53 am

    British police are too weak now just look in London where are “no-go-zones”.

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