Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 07:53 UK

Wardens given more policing power

Young drinker
Young people can have alcoholic drinks confiscated by wardens

Environment wardens have been given more powers to help tackle anti-social behaviour in Devon.

The eight-strong team of wardens in Teignbridge have been accredited under the Community Safety scheme run by Devon and Cornwall Police.

It gives the uniformed wardens the power to confiscate alcohol and tobacco from young people and stop alcohol being drunk in public places.

They can also issue fixed penalty notices for cycling on a footway.

Teignbridge District Council said the additional powers would help the team deal with a wider range of nuisance issues.

'Proportionate' response

The team already tackles fly-tipping, littering, dog fouling, graffiti, illegal signs and nuisance bonfires.

Council spokeswoman Marie Jenkins said the wardens would now be better equipped to solve low-level nuisance issues which bother local people.

"These powers will be used proportionately and within reason, and our wardens will always do their utmost to provide advice and education rather than simply taking enforcement action," she said.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton said enforcement officers could now tackle the issues that matter most in the local communities.

"We already have a very safe community but the issues of nuisance and anti-social behaviour do cause problems in some areas and this accreditation allows community officers to work with the police in tackling these issues," he said.

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