BANNING alcohol from York’s streets has led to a drop of almost 25 per cent in police call-outs in its first month.

The extended Alcohol Restriction Zone (ARZ) was launched at the end of April by City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police, making it an offence to continue drinking within the city walls and the railway station when asked to stop by a police officer, PCSO or BTP officer.

Those officers now have the power to seize alcohol, and individuals who refuse to comply can be prosecuted.

The figures for the first month of the scheme show calls to reports of antisocial behaviour involving alcohol have dropped by 24 per cent compared with the same period last year (from 198 to 150), and 47 per cent from the same period in 2012 (284).

Reports of antisocial behaviour which did not include alcohol had risen slightly from 366 in 2013 to 369 this year, but were still lower than in 2012 (439), and daytime calls involving antisocial behaviour between 8am and 8pm had reduced from 67 in 2013 to 52 since the extension of the restriction zone.

Superintendent Phil Cain of York Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The initial figures are encouraging and although we are still in the early stages of the extended zone, alcohol restriction zones have worked well in other areas.

“We will continue to monitor the results as we go forward and anticipate them working well as we head into what is expected to be one of our busiest summers in the city.”

Figures for calls to the area surrounding the ARZ were also released, and show despite fears that antisocial behaviour would be displaced, calls to the 200-metre ‘buffer zone’ had also fallen by between 41 and 50 per cent.

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, cabinet member for homes and safer communities at City of York Council, said: “I’m delighted that, as summer approaches, the joint working of the police and council continues to improve levels of antisocial behaviour in the city.”