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Betting shops in Harrow and Wealdstone are working together to decrease anti-social behaviour
Betting shops in Harrow and Wealdstone say a dispersal order has brought a fall in anti-social behaviour in their shops.
Bookmakers asked for the order because youths would loiter both outside and inside betting shops, harassing customers, dealing drugs and getting drunk.
The order gives police officers and community support officers the power to disperse troublemakers for up to 24 hours.
Priyesh Chahwala, 28, deputy manager of Betfred in Harrow and Wealdstone, said: “There is a lot of drug abuse and alcohol abuse in this area and it was becoming a real problem for us.
“But since last year all the betting shops have been working together to clean up the area.
“We have monthly meetings with the police and started clamping down on kids coming into our shops.”
In January last year Ladbrokes, William Hill, Paddy Power, Bet 90, Betfred and Roar Betting joined forces with Harrow Council and police to create the Betwatch scheme to cut crime and curb anti-social behaviour.
Troublemakers banned from one betting shop will be banned from all branches and the council created a secure online forum for security managers to share information.
Shamar White, 23, a cashier at Betfred, said: “We hardly have any problems because we are a lot stricter.
“We used to have situations where we were being threatened with violence and it was getting out of hand.”
Ladbrokes in Harrow and Wealdstone still has problems with large groups of youths loitering outside.
Staff at the betting shops claim juveniles turn to drink and drugs because they lack anything better to do.