A DISPERSAL order is in place in Colchester this evening in response to a planned car cruise.

It came into effect at 5pm today (January 20) and will run until 7am tomorrow over worries about dangerous and erratic driving.

It applies to areas around Severalls Industrial Estate including Smeaton Close, while Whitehall Industrial Estate and Cowdray Centre are also included within the dispersal order.

On Boxing Day, three people were injured when a car went into crowds which had gathered for a cruise event in Smeaton Close.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "It gives our officers the power to order people causing anti-social behaviour to leave these areas.

"It is a criminal offence to breach a direction given under a dispersal order and in the worst cases this can result in a criminal conviction punishable by up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000.

"Officers will be patrolling the area to address any issues that arise.

"Residents are encouraged to report any issues to police as soon as possible."