A dispersal order is being brought in for Basildon town centre from 7pm tonight.

Essex Police has reported having an increase in complaints about anti social behaviour in the town centre during the school holidays.

A dispersal order means police can ban people from an area for 24 hours.

Those under 16 who are causing a nuisance can be taken home to their parents by the police.

Chief Inspector Smith, Basildon District Commander, said: "This type of behaviour has an affect on all of the Basildon community, from the people who choose to visit, to the retailers and the residents who live within the town centre area.

"I have today authorised a Dispersal Order, which will come into effect from 1900 hrs tonight. it will cover the area outlined on the map shown in this post and will be reviewed every 48 hours in line with the legislation.

"I have taken this step to remove or reduce the likelihood of members of the public being harassed, alarmed or distressed.

"Basildon Town Centre should be a place where everyone comes together to enjoy the facilities without individuals making their lives difficult or unpleasant.

"My officers will be enforcing this order rigorously, so please while visiting Basildon, enjoy yourselves but consider how your actions impact on others.

"Operation Phase is also designed to tackle the issue of Alcohol consumption in Designated Public places.

"Basildon Town centre is a designated space and this issue will also be addressed."