COMMUNITY leaders have asked police to consider a booze ban at a popular Bracknell Forest park.

Concerns have been raised by councillors about antisocial behaviour at Westmorland Park in Warfield after reports of young people drinking late at night.

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At a council meeting earlier this week, police safety chiefs were asked whether they would consider a ‘no alcohol notice’ at the park at a particular cut off time.

Alison O’Meara, Head of Community Safety in Bracknell, responded: “I think what we would need to consider there is whether an actual ban after a certain time of night would be a proportional response to two incidents of anti-social behaviour at Westmorland and at the town centre.

“We would also need to consider how that ban could be enforced because if that’s in place we would need to respond to that. Would we be able to? Do we have sufficient responses to do that?”

Ms O’Meara explained the Community Safety Partnership asked residents to point to hotspots of anti-social behaviour last year, receiving nearly 500 responses in a consultation.

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Hotspots identified, including Westmorland, were mapped up and included on police patrols and officers who spot anti-social behaviour can issue warning letters, criminal behaviour orders and more.

Felicity Parker, local area commander for Bracknell, said current legislation made it difficult to impose such a ban, however.

But she did offer words of encouragement in terms of taking further action in the area.

Ms Parker said: “In relation to Westmorland Park I believe we have been out into the area and I will make sure we increase patrols to understand what the problems are there.

“A banning order is quite difficult for us to get in around the legislation.

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“But my PSCOs and my officers do have the power to seize alcohol from underage drinkers and to take action around that so they will be doing that.”

Councillor Tony Virgo claimed there were “several days” recently where under-age drinkers were drinking and suggested the idea of an alcohol ban was “important” to residents.

But Ms Parker suggested officers should not “take a sledgehammer to a walnut” with an issue such as underage drinking.

Instead, she suggested, Police Community Support Officers should take preventative measures by working with schools, youth workers and parents to tackle the issue.

The discussion took place at a Bracknell Forest Council meeting on Tuesday, October 14.