Gangs of youths who create trouble at North Middlesex Hospital are being given their marching orders under new police powers.

A six-month dispersal order allows officers to order offenders off the hospital grounds, in Sterling Way, following complaints from staff and residents.

The hospital, which is battling its own security issues, including theft and violence against staff, has also endured youngsters smashing car windows, spraying graffiti and breaking into the grounds at night to hold parties.

Bottles, condoms and traces of cannabis have all been found.

The dispersal order, launched on Monday in partnership with hospital security staff, covers the perimeter of the hospital including the North Circular Road west to the A10, south to Wilbury Way and Bridport Road.

PC Steve Hodgson, anti-social behaviour co-ordinator, said police would also work on the initiative with surrounding housing providers aiming to root out and tackle the reasons behind the gangs' behaviour.

One sergeant, two police constables and three police community support officers from the Upper Edmonton Safer Neighbourhood Team, based at the hospital, will be dedicated to the project.

PC Hodgson said: "Officers won't just be there to clear the area of youths. We will be acting on intelligence to target those causing the problems.

"Acting on information form the public, there will be visible patrols and we will be working with the hospital's security staff.

"The use of dispersal zones is just one of a range of tactics we use to produce long-term sustainable solutions. This would include crime prevention design activity with our partners to help solve the problems in a particular area."

Clare Panniker, North Middlesex Hospital's chief executive, said the trust was fully behind the initiative.

She said: "The safety of patients, staff and visitors is a top priority, and it is essential we all work together to ensure we can deliver good care in a safe environment."