Dispersal zone to remove bad behaviour in Soho and West End

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A police zone has come into force to try and keep drug dealers and street drinkers out of Soho and the West End in central London.

The group dispersal zone will give police and community support officers the right to ban individuals or groups from the area for up to 24 hours.

It is aimed at people who may cause harassment, alarm or distress to those who live and work in the area.

The scheme came into force at midnight on Friday and lasts for six months.

'Exacting misery'

Westminster City Councillor Nickie Aiken, cabinet holder for community protection, said: "Under our zero tolerance approach to crime we will use every power at our disposal to help the police.

"We want drug dealers and the like to know that as a local authority we will do everything in our power to make this a no go zone."

Ch Insp Kevin Hobson, responsible for neighbourhood policing and business partnership in the West End and Soho, said: "Our extensive business community network helps us every day to help identify those whose sole purpose is exacting misery and harm to innocent people.

"My message to those who think they can come into the heart of the capital and get away with it is that we will exact misery and fear on you."

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