A ban on drinking in public could soon be rolled out in Thornton Heath and local business owners say people boozing and “causing a nuisance” in the street has been a problem for years.

A Croydon Council report outlining the reasons for the new scheme said the area was one of the borough’s crime hotspots in 2022.

If a permanent Public Space Protection order (PSPO) is introduced, it will give the police more powers to confiscate open bottles and cans of alcohol.

Sam Khasanov, the manager of restaurant Blue and Orange in the High Street, said he would “fully support” the zone being put in place in Thornton Heath.

He said: “We think over the years the Thornton Heath area has degraded because, we are located here every day we see people’s behaviour. There are people sitting all day and drinking.

“There are a lot of betting shops in Thornton Heath now and the more shops like this the more antisocial behaviour you get.

"We need to see more police officers on the street, we rarely see any. Families can’t walk with kids because there are a lot of people with beers walking without their tops and smoking weed in the street.”

Another local businessman, who didn’t want to give his name, said women are put off walking in the area.

He said: “It’s always been a problem round here, people always sit outside the shops getting drunk and making a nuisance.

"I feel sorry for women who say they hate walking past down there people who are drunk at two in the afternoon.

“I think I would support [the PSPO], you don’t want to walk down the street feeling intimidated, it has been happening for years now.”

A previous PSPO in the area lapsed in 2020. A council report said: “This was due to a perceived reduction in ASB and a lack of recorded evidence that it was being used at the time.”

The report added: “This will provide another tool for police and council officers to make our public spaces free from antisocial behaviour and stop ongoing harassment and disorder.

"We will work with the police to ensure use of the power is recorded throughout the lifespan of the PSPO should it be implemented.”

Before it can be introduced Croydon Council will carry out a six week public consultation.

The council’s cabinet is expected to approve that this consultation is triggered on Wednesday (May 24).