Street drinking order launches today
An order which bans street drinking in specific parts of the borough has launched today.
The Tooting designated public place order gives police officers the power to instruct people to stop drinking in designated public places, as well as confiscate their alcohol.
Anyone who refuses could face an on-the-spot fine or even legal action.
Tooting High Street, Upper Tooting Road and Streatham Cemetery are affected by the plans, which will remain in place for 12 months from July 30.
Over the past week outreach workers have been out in Tooting offering support to street drinkers and encouraging them to go to health clinics.
They are then given a basic check and directed towards further help, with many of the drinkers often found to be homeless.
There have already been 15 people contacted and three of these have gone on to have further sessions.
Graveney ward councillor, Councillor Billi Randall, said: "For many years Labour's Councillors have been concerned that the town centre has been blighted by some very intransigent street drinkers and this should see the problem really tackled.
"There is an enforcement element to the DPPO, but the intention is to be able to directly tackle people's problems as well as to stop the anti-social behaviour associated with street-drinking."
The council has said alcohol free zones will help businesses in the area, with traders claiming they have loss out because of street drinkers hanging around outside their shops.
Roi Mengelgrein, manager of Tooting Market, said: "Tooting Market supports the idea of alcohol free zones in Tooting.
"We have had several incidents in the market where people with beer cans or bagged alcohol entered the market and caused some sort of disturbance."