A PLEDGE by police to clean up the streets of Weymouth is being welcomed.

Dorset Police is stepping up patrols to target street drinkers and yobs causing anti-social behaviour on the seafront and other parts of the town.

They have announced a two-week crackdown targeting those who cause disruption.

The campaign has been launched following complaints made by members of the public about groups of drunk people in the street who are abusive and causing concern to members of the public.

During the two-week initiative, anyone seen to be acting in an anti-social manner will be issued with a dispersal order preventing them from returning to the area for up to 48 hours and, if they breach the order, they could be arrested.

Weymouth Safer Neighbour-hood Sergeant Steve Yeoman said: “The aim of this operation is to reduce anti-social behaviour and deal strongly with the issue of street drinkers in Weymouth.

“We are actively targeting these groups of people to ensure that those at fault are dealt with and that Weymouth remains a safe and beautiful place to live and visit.”

As part of the operation, alcohol will be seized from anyone who is drinking in the alcohol free areas of Weymouth and anyone who is found to be drunk and disorderly will be arrested.

The news has been welcomed by local business leaders, who have welcomed the timing of the campaign, and praised police for introducing it during the summer months.

Julie Cleaver, president of the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, praised the initiative.

She said: “I think it’s a good thing and it’s probably the right timing for it as well.

“With the good weather we are having, Weymouth is very busy and more people are coming here, and more people means more policing so I think that it’s a very good idea.

“It’s not a problem specific to Weymouth but we are a popular seaside resort and we need policing that reflects that.

“It’s important that businesses are protected.

“I know some of them have been affected and damaged by people who might be being a bit rowdy so I think it’s good they will have a bit more protection.”

Keith Treggiden, chairman of Weymouth Pubwatch, said the group had been asking police to introduce a campaign such as this for a while.

He said: “Anything that will clean up any anti-social behaviour is a very good idea.

“I don’t think it’s a big problem.

“We get most of the problems on Saturdays when groups of people come down and they can be disruptive because they know they won’t be banned, but we hope this police action will stop that.

“We have been asking for something like this for a while now, so it’s good it’s here.”