WE welcome the tougher powers being brought in to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

The council is bringing in Public Spaces Protection Orders this year which will stop drinking in the streets, begging and other anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

The move comes after fears such behaviour could hinder development plans and put people off coming to the town centre to shop, eat and live.

Over the past couple of years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of beggars and rough sleepers on the streets.

There are genuine cases where people do not have anywhere to go and need help from the council and kind-hearted shoppers and workers have given generously to help them.

But there have also been reports of aggressively begging and others pretending to be homeless to take advantage of people’s generosity.

It is a grey area regarding who is involved in what, but the bottom line is that drug taking, drinking and intimidating shoppers cannot be allowed to continue.

The council is taking a tough stance with this which is understandable as there are huge developments about to take place in the town centre, with a lot of money at stake.

No one would want to invest somewhere that is plagued by anti-social behaviour and threatens to drive away customers from the town centre.