POLICE have announced plans to use dispersal order powers in Dudley town centre after a rise in public order offences and criminal damage.

West Midlands Police said the order had been granted after concerns were raised that young people aged 10 to 18 have been gathering in large numbers and congregating in the town centre and nearby streets, causing locals to feel intimidated.

The neighbourhood team will be able to use dispersal powers from 2.30pm today (Wednesday September 15) to 2.30pm on Friday (September 17).

Dudley News: Dispersal powers have been granted in this area of DudleyDispersal powers have been granted in this area of Dudley

Dispersal orders give police temporary, additional powers and mean officers can direct anyone whose behaviour is likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to leave the area.

Officers have also been conducting stop and searches, seizing weapons on some occasions, and they said they would continue to work with local businesses and agencies for longer-term solutions.

Police have urged people who know those causing problems in the area to contact officers via live chat online at west-midlands.police.uk or call 101.