POLICE will be allowed to take booze from street drinkers in a crackdown against anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

Bracknell Forest Council has agreed to hand out the powers in a move which means officers can confiscate alcohol from those causing a disturbance in Bracknell for at least another three years.

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Council documents outlining the decision explained police do already have powers to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

However, these powers only allow them to take action when an offence takes place.

Bracknell News:

The public spaces protection order (PSPO) renewed by the council means police can take action when an offence is “likely to occur”.

A council report explained why the powers were being renewed.

It read: “Additional powers to tackle alcohol-related ASB in the town centre will prevent potential heightened alarm and fear by those witnessing it or being a victim of it and will ensure that the community will continue to feel safe visiting the town centre.”

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According to an equalities assessment, people of a black or minority ethnic heritage, women, disabled individuals, members of the LGBT community, the elderly and other groups will benefit from this extension as they are all disproportionately affected by alcohol-related disturbance.

Bracknell Forest Council’s (BFC) report noted how similar powers were granted to police in 2012 following reports of several problem-drinkers gathering in the town centre whose presence contributed to reports of anti-social behaviour.

These powers eventually became the PSPO police have made use of since 2017.

According to data from Thames Valley Police, from 2012 to 2019 there has been a 42 per cent reduction in alcohol-related crime in Bracknell town centre.

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Since 2018, TVP’s Bracknell town centre team have used the PSPO powers to deal with 133 incidences of street-drinking.

The powers have now been extended by BFC for another three years as they were due to expire in October and will apply to Bracknell town centre.