NEW powers for police to step in sooner to seize drinkers' booze have come into effect.

Drinking alcohol in public in Bracknell town centre is still permitted but a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO), introduced on Friday last week means that police can ask someone to stop drinking if they think they will be likely to cause a nuisance.

If they refuse, they can be fined �50 on the spot or be arrested and prosecuted with a fine of up to �500.

The order does not apply to pub gardens or anywhere else that has permission.

Cllr Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection at Bracknell Forest Council, said: "This is not a ban on drinking outside or intended to stop people having a quiet beer in the sunshine.

"But it does give the police more powers to tackle the nuisance caused by a small number of people who drink alcohol in the town centre and behave anti-socially." For more information and a detailed map of the area see or contact the council's community safety team via or 01344 352000.