ANTI-social behaviour which has plagued a town is due to be addressed by the introduction of an order banning youths congregating.

Residents in Colburn, near Catterick, have called for the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to be brought in, after hundreds of anti-social reports.

The order would give police and council officers the power to move groups on, fine them for unruly behaviour and prevent certain activities.

In the last nine months, there have been more than 200 reports of anti-social behaviour by youths around the Broadway shops area, affecting the library, business park and residents.

Offences include underage drinking, verbal and racial abuse, intimidation of younger and older people, abusive language, aggressive behaviour and youths congregating.

Councillor Yvonne Peacock, Richmondshire District Council leader, said: “We do not take introducing such a radical measure lightly – but we must do something to protect the local community and the quality of their life.”

The two-year order, which will cover the Broadway area, Colburn Business Park, the Chase and Albemarle, will ban harassment, threatening or abusive behaviour, and nuisance to people, animals or buildings.

It will also curb the congregation of three or more youths aged under 17 behaving antisocially, and the consumption of alcohol when asked to stop by police.

Once an order is made it becomes a crime to do anything prohibited in the order.

Offences can be dealt with through the courts or with fixed on-the-spot fines.

At a meeting of Colburn Town Council last May, concerns were aired about anti-social behaviour at the business park after reports of damage and drinking.

In October, a public consultation was held by Safer Richmondshire Hub regarding the introduction of a PSPO.

North Yorkshire Police increased patrols, resulting in dispersal orders – banning people from certain areas.

ColburnWatch was launched as a new partnership between the community and North Yorkshire Police.

They secured funding from the Communities Opportunities Fund, and set up a twitter account @colburnwatch.

Richmondshire District Council’s corporate board are expected to give the go-ahead when they meet this Tuesday.