A dispersal order has been imposed on parts of West Molesey to help tackle antisocial behaviour.

The Elmbridge neighbourhood team was granted the order, under section 30 of the antisocial behaviour act 2003, to disband groups of two or more people.

The police will be able to return people under the age of 16 home if they are unsupervised in a public place after 9pm and they can be arrested if they return to the same place within 24 hours.

The law applies if a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the presence or behaviour of the group has or is likely to result in the public being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed.

Roads covered under the section 30 order include First Avenue, Upper Farm Road, Central Avenue and Eastcote Avenue.

The application was granted after a period of ongoing antisocial behaviour from youths congregating around parades of shops and parks in the area.

Neighbourhood sergeant Catherine Hearn said: “Problems included drinking, swearing, criminal damage, fighting and abusive behaviour - incidents of this nature have resulted in local residents and businesses to be alarmed and fearful.

“A number of actions aimed at resolving issues have already taken but to date these have not put a stop to the antisocial behaviour.

“Surrey Police is not prepared to tolerate this kind of unacceptable behaviour which although caused by a minority of individuals negatively affects the quality of life for residents and shop keepers in this neighbourhood.”

The order takes effect on April 4 and will be in force for six months, subject to regular reviews.