Police have agreed special measures in an attempt to drive away anti-social behaviour in a town centre.

Sussex Police, Arun District Council and British Transport Police have agreed a six-month dispersal order, known as a section 30 order, for Bognor town centre.

It will run from the June 15 to December 15 meaning police officers and PCSOs can insist groups of two or more people, who are causing significant and persistent anti-social behaviour leave the area and not return for up to 24 hours.

Sergeant Neal Harvey of Arun's Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "This dispersal zone will help us to combat anti-social behaviour which is primarily caused by the street drinking community in the town centre.

"This order will help the immediate problems their anti-social behaviour can cause but we are looking at the longer term help we can give these people alongside our partners at the council, homelessness services, substance misuse services and outreach workers who hold monthly multi agency meetings to develop strategies to help the members of the street community.

"We are introducing this zone for the residents and businesses who have been effected by the street drinkers who cause some anti social behaviour in the town centre area."

The order is not designed to create an exclusion zone or a curfew area, but is intended to make the area more pleasant for those who live, work and visit, according to Sussex Police.

A spokesman said: “Police will not necessarily disperse people in this area just because they are in a group, it is aimed at giving police additional powers to deal more effectively with groups who decide to cause problems.”

Roger Wood, head of neighbourhoods at Arun District Council, said: "The council fully supports the police in establishing a dispersal zone and will continue to work in partnership with the police to take action which reduces the impact of alcohol related anti-social behaviour across Arun.

"We are determined that the social and economic environment in Bognor Regis should not be adversely affected by the actions of a minority."