Dispersal powers will be used to force out thugs in Belgrave area of Leicester
Troublemakers in the Belgrave area will be ordered to leave the streets under new police powers.
Leicester City Council and Leicestershire Police have jointly approved a dispersal order covering every street in both Belgrave and Latimer wards, after complaints that teenage thugs were intimidating residents.
It means police can ban troublemakers from the area, with under-16s taken home to their families, and older people being ordered out of the two wards.
Those who ignore an order face being arrested.
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The order comes after 47-year-old Rajesh Devaliya was badly beaten by four masked assailants as he stepped into a lift in the St Mark's housing block, in Southey Close, last week.
Police are not linking the assault to any particular youths, but said the incident had heightened fears.
Rajesh's brother Ashok, 50, said: "My brother is doing much better now and feeling much better, but still feeling a bit nervous, obviously.
"I think this new dispersal order will help people feel a bit safer, but I think it will work best if police are patrolling the area often so that something like what happened to Rajesh does not happen again."
The order was first signed by police on Monday, before it was passed to city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby for a second signature on Tuesday, making it valid with immediate effect.
Sir Peter said: "It seems trouble has revolved around a group of lads – up to about 20 youths – who have been causing a thorough nuisance and quite a lot of distress. I understand residents have found them quite intimidating."
A similar order was made in Belgrave in March last year – focusing on the Cossington Street area – but it has since expired.
"I think there was a feeling it was something that had a good effect in the past," Sir Peter said.
"This one, however, covers a much wider area which I think stops it being a case of people just being moved from one area to another."
A spokesman for the city council said the order would last for six months, at which point the police and council could choose to approve another one.
Belgrave resident Mansukh Chohan, 58, said: "People are bound to be safer after this.
"The police are the experts when it comes to this sort of thing and at the end of the day if they think it will help, I'm sure that it will."
Police said calls about people causing trouble in the area could be made anonymously without the need for a visit by officers.
Anyone with information about the attack on Mr Devaliya is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.