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Police urge people not to attend large gathering planned this evening

Police are urging people to stay away, after being made aware of a large gathering planned in Stoke-on-Trent tonight.

The force is aware that there is a possible large gathering in the Smallthorne/Norton Heights area.

They say a dedicated policing operation is in place, with officers patrolling in potential hot spot areas.

Chief Inspector Mark Barlow, commander of Stoke North Neighbourhood Policing Team, said; “Following intelligence, officers will be patrolling the Smallthorne/Norton Heights area tonight to tackle any instances of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“The majority of young people go out to meet up with their friends and do not cause any problems. However, there is a number of individuals that have engaged in anti-social behaviour, which has caused the community to feel intimidated and worried by these larger groups.

“We understand the impact this behaviour can have on people living in the area, especially in light of the current COVID-19 concerns and government restrictions, so are asking teenagers to be mindful and considerate of others.

“I would like to stress that officers will only use dispersal powers where absolutely necessary and appeal to parents and guardians to ensure that they know where their children are, what they are up to and who they are with.”

Anyone with any concerns can contact Staffordshire Police by calling 101, reporting online at https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/report or sending a direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

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