STREET drinkers have reportedly been affecting trade and intimidating members of the public in a market town.

Police Community Support Officer Paul Davies told Ross-on-Wye Town Council that steps are being taken to address the issue in Ross.

He said: "It is a cause of concern for many people. Without naming names, people from local businesses have noticed a knock-on effect on trade.

"Members of the public have been feeling quite intimidated by it all."

He said it has also resulted in the Market Place looking unsightly.

PCSO Davies said: "Everything we have tried doesn't seem to be working - alcohol being taking away and asking them to move on."

Further enquiries are being made and the next step is to carry out a five step plan.

In the first instance offenders would receive an advisory notice, this would be followed by a formal notice and court action would take place after that.

The fourth point is a S.35 order to remove them from an area in the town for 48 hours. If they come back again, that is when they would get arrested.

PCSO Davies added: "People visit the town to come to use facilities. Everything goes well, and right at the last minute they get left with a bad impression of the town.

"I think that bad press gets circulated on a wider scale."

Cllr Richard Mayo asked if the police would be able to do more if antisocial behaviour took place, but PCSO Davies said that, in his experience, the street drinkers move on when asked to but return later.

Cllr Chris Bartrum said: "Some of these people probably don't know they are causing a nuisance and are appearing to be aggressive to visitors and tourists and people in the town.

"Will it be part of the five point plan to give these people, or those who are receptive to it, some sort of advice for people to go to if they have alcohol or drug issues?"

PCSO Davies said this would be looked at.

A Herefordshire Council consultation on the Provision for a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for alcohol finished on October 11. The PSPO for alcohol consumption gives the police and other designated officers additional powers within a designated area to tackle street drinking where it is having a detrimental effect to those in the locality.