A controversial clampdown on prostitutes and people drinking in the streets is now in force across High Wycombe.

The new measures, which will allow police and council workers to fine people up to £1,000, were first mooted last year by Wycombe District Council after the authorities were criticised for not dealing with anti-social behaviour across the town.

Signs were installed in the areas in which the orders will be in force last week, with the use of the new government Public Spaces Protection Orders limited to High Wycombe town centre, The Rye and the Desborough Road area.

During a 2016 consultation, 86 per cent of people who responded said alcohol related anti-social behaviour is a problem in the area, while 71 per cent believed there was an issue with prostitution.

Feedback from the consultation meant banned areas for sex workers will be expanded from Desborough Avenue to Victoria Street, from Desborough Road to Wendover Street and from Westbourne Street to Bridge Street and Mendy Street.

Kerb crawlers and other crimes relating to prostitution will also be covered by the ban.

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WDC cabinet member for community, cllr Julia Adey, said: “The council has listened to residents and businesses in bringing forward these PSPOs, with the orders giving authorities more flexibility to take action against people deemed to be committing anti-social behaviour in our town.

“We wish to ensure High Wycombe is a pleasant, vibrant and enjoyable place to live, work and visit.

“We believe these orders will enable the authorities to take action against any individuals who may potentially spoil the visitor experience to the town.”

A police officer, PCSO or council officer must see anti-social behaviour taking place before any potential action can be taken, and so residents are urged to call 101 if they witness any anti-social behaviour taking place in the town.

For more information about PSPOs and the areas in which they are in force visit www.wycombe.gov.uk and search “Public Spaces Protection Orders”.