A controlled drinking zone (CDZ) has been given the go ahead by Merton Council after “overwhelming public support”.

The new zone will cover half of Mitcham allowing police to confiscate alcohol in public places, in a bid to tackle antisocial behaviour in the area.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said: “Implementing this controlled drinking zone is all about us listening to our residents’ concerns and taking action to address those concerns.

“Preventing antisocial behaviour as much as possible in our town centres has a major impact on our residents’ quality of life.

"Alcohol plays a significant part in the causes of unacceptable behaviour on many of the UK’s streets.”

The CDZ should be fully operational later this month, but a Mitcham councillor criticised the council for not introducing it sooner.

Councillor Peter Walker, of Figge’s Marsh ward, had organised a petition in favour of introducing the CDZ in July and blamed “bureaucracy and delays by council officials”.

He said: “It is a great shame that this controlled zone was not in place before the end of August which was the date originally promised.

"Opposition for many months by senior officers employed by Merton has slowed the introduction of this necessary measure.”

“However I am pleased that the local police will now have powers to tackle the anti-social drinking which takes place particularly in the evenings and weekends around the Fair Green and Figges Marsh.

"It has been a blight for a long time and intimidates local residents especially the elderly and women”

“I am pleased our petition has met with success at last."