Report online or call us on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

Download the Ask The Police app from the following app stores:

Get it on iTunes Get it on Google Play

These are powers used in a wide range of situations in order to offer immediate relief to the community. These powers enable officers and PCSOs to direct a person who has engaged/likely to engage in anti-social behaviour, to leave a specified area and not to return for a period of 48 hours. The 'specified area' cannot include the place where they live/work.

The officer must believe that the behaviour is contributing/likely to contribute to anti-social behaviour and/or crime in the area and as such using the powers would be necessary to reduce crime levels. It may include confiscation of items (e.g. alcohol) and is available to anyone that appears over 10 years of age.

An example of when dispersal powers may be used would be if an individual was consuming alcohol in a town centre and as a result was being verbally abusive to members of the public. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and can result in imprisonment and/or a fine.

For further information on these powers we would advise that you contact your local policing team. You can do this via the non-emergency 101 number or alternatively by visiting your local force's website.

Current rating

1 2 3 4 5

Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.