Police in direct appeal to parents after last night’s disturbance in Keynsham

gangsPolice have received information that there could be a repeat this evening of last night’s disturbance in Keynsham which saw hundreds of teenagers gathering in the town centre.

Amid concerns regarding an organised fight between groups of young people attending this evening’s fireworks display at Avon Valley, they have contacted schools in the local area.

They are expecting a large number of young people in the area to congregate there this evening and a dispersal order is in place. Any students who turn up in large groups will be turned away.

Officers used dispersal powers in Keynsham last night to deal with anti-social behaviour involving a large number of teenagers. The disturbance in the Memorial Park area started at around 7pm.

Supt Peter Warren, Avon & Somerset’s lead on anti-social behaviour, said: “We had intelligence to suggest there may be a disorder involving groups of teenagers from different schools in the local area.

“During the early evening, a large group began to gather with the intention to cause anti-social behaviour and fireworks were thrown.

“We responded proportionately and brought in extra resources to disperse the crowd and carry out high visibility patrols. No damage was caused and there were no arrests.

“We have information to suggest further gatherings may be planned and our message is very clear – if you choose to engage in anti-social behaviour or disorder you face a real risk of being arrested and ending up with a criminal record.

“We have neighbourhood officers in local schools today as a preventative measure to help us prevent a similar occurrence.

“We’re also appealing directly to parents to ensure they know where there are children are and if they’re attending events in Keynsham, to have conversations with them about the potentially damaging consequences of getting involved in disruptive or criminal behaviour.

“Tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour is one of our force priorities and we will take all necessary measures, using all the powers and tools available to us, to ensure the Keynsham community does not have to endure any further disruption.”