Our view is simple – if someone is breaking the law, whether they are 15 or 50 is irrelevant. The police can and should arrest them, and they should be held accountable. If a contributing factor is poor – or entirely absent – parenting, then that can also be addressed.
Bangor’s dispersal order makes no such distinction. It decrees that any person under the age of 16 in the designated area between 9pm and 6am is liable for upto three months incarceration or a fine of upto £2500. There is no requirement for the person to be engaged in wrongdoing.
The idea you could be fined or imprisoned for walking through the town centre simply because you are 15 and not accompanied by a parent is madness. To say that any under 16 year old who is unaccompanied between 9pm and 6am is a criminal is the kind of draconian law you’d expect in North Korea, not North Wales.
Criminalising every young person in Bangor – without any need for them to be engaged in any wrongdoing – is an unwarranted and disproportionate intrusion onto the civil liberties of thousands of perfectly law abiding young people, who are now unable to leave their homes after 9pm.