A Section 35 Dispersal Order will be in place in these areas from 12pm today (Monday, October 30) until 11.59pm tomorrow (Tuesday, October 31) to keep the areas safe during the Halloween period.
This means that under the Crime and Policing Act, the order gives PCs and PCSOs in uniform the power to exclude a person or people from an area for a period of up to 48 hours.
The order was authorised by Inspector Engelbrecht.
However, police have also clarified that Halloween events are still going ahead, and they encourage people to say hello if they see a uniformed police officer out and about over the next 48 hours.
Inspector Engelbrecht has authorised a Section 35 Dispersal Order in areas of Woolwich, Eltham and Greenwich Peninsula from 1200 30/10/23 to 2359 31/10/23, purely to deter any potential disorder in the areas. Halloween and Autumn events are still on, please come and say hello! pic.twitter.com/MKZmpqQ4ux
— Greenwich MPS (@MPSGreenwich) October 30, 2023
These extra precautions have been put in place after drugs, fireworks and eggs were seized in numerous stop and searches in Welling last year.
Police at the time said that they “worked until the early hours of the morning” tackling antisocial behaviour.
One person was arrested, and two youths were taken home by officers.
Three community resolutions were made, meaning that an informal agreement was made between the officer and offender to solve the problem.
The Woolwich area has a history of anti-social behaviour around Halloween and Bonfire Night involving the misuse of fireworks.
General Gordon Square was closed back in 2021 after a series of disturbances including “hundreds of youths” throwing fireworks in the town centre, according to Safer Schools Sergeant Geoff Warren.
A police officer was injured in the 2021 chaos after teens threw the explosives towards buses and cars.
General Gordan Square was sealed off last year with metal fences to try and manage anti-social behaviour over Halloween and bonfire night.
Halloween 2020 saw similar scenes in Woolwich as large numbers gathered on the High Street and General Gordon Square, shooting fireworks at police officers, members of the public, buses and flats.
Greenwich MPS tweeted: “Inspector Engelbrecht has authorised a Section 35 Dispersal Order in areas of Woolwich, Eltham and Greenwich Peninsula from 1200 30/10/23 to 2359 31/10/23, purely to deter any potential disorder in the areas.
“Halloween and Autumn events are still on, please come and say hello!”