Powers which allow police officers to stop people from drinking alcohol in public have been used 40 times so far this year in a Northumberland town.
A Designated Public Place Order (DPPO), which allows officers to seize and confiscate drink from potential troublemakers, was introduced in Ashington 18 months ago.
Yesterday - as Northumbria Police promised a clampdown on alcohol-fuelled disorder in the town this summer - it was revealed that the powers have been used on 40 occasions in 2013.
Police say the DPPO will play a pivotal role in the new crackdown on drunken anti-social behaviour. Anyone who refuses to hand over alcohol to a police officer when asked to do so can be given an on the spot fine, or arrested and fined up to £500.
Ashington Neighbourhood Inspector, Barrie Joisce, said anti-social behaviour had fallen by 31% in the area this year. “We’re tackling issues of anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related disorder as part of the Ashington Safer Summer campaign. There is often a correlation between violence and alcohol and I want to warn people that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The DPPO gives officers the powers to intervene at an early stage if they suspect that the consumption of alcohol could lead to violence or disorder.
“The powers can be used to stop drinkers from congregating in the streets, allowing us to prevent potential alcohol-related issues before they escalate into disorder.”