Police action over nuisance vagrants

PUBLISHED: 11:35 17 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 May 2010

POLICE are getting tough on vagrants congregating in the cathedral grounds, drinking and abusing shoppers and tourists. Shopkeepers fear their actions are driving away business and have called the police and complained to the district council. One trader,

POLICE are getting tough on vagrants congregating in the cathedral grounds, drinking and abusing shoppers and tourists.

Shopkeepers fear their actions are driving away business and have called the police and complained to the district council.

One trader, who asked not to be named, said: "They are drinking all day long and sitting around. By the end of the day there can be 30 or more and they are so drunk they become quite abusive.

"Families can't come to the green and picnic on the lawn and all the seats are taken up."

Ely police have issued a dispersal order giving them the power to move on or split up groups of two or more people likely to behave anti-socially. If they refuse to leave or come back within 24 hours they can be arrested.

East Cambridgeshire anti-social behaviour co-ordinator Brian Tully said: "There are two or three vagrants gathering in the area causing a disturbance with insulting behaviour and making unacceptable comments. They are acting as a magnet for other people."

The order came into effect at midnight on Tuesday and runs until the end of October.

It covers Palace Green, The Gallery, Coronation Parade, Steeple Row, Cross Green, the south car park, East Lane and the Almonry Gardens.

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