Benches have been removed from the city centre in a bid to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Four freestanding benches in New Road, Brighton, have been taken away to deter people from gathering in the area.

It was a decision by the Greens when they ran Brighton and Hove City Council but the new Labour administration says the tactic will not work.

Councillor Tim Rowkins, chairman of the city environment committee, said: “The decision to move the seating was taken by the previous administration.

The Argus: The previous city council administration made the decision to remove the seatingThe previous city council administration made the decision to remove the seating (Image: The Argus)

“We are not convinced that this will solve the problem it is addressing and will look again at the situation. Benches around the city are important for residents and tourists.

“Antisocial behaviour is not ‘caused’ by places to congregate. Removing seats just moves the problem somewhere else. This issue and the situation in this area needs much more careful consideration.”

There were fears that all the seating in the area could be taken away but Cllr Rowkins was quick to calm the concerns.

He said: “There are no plans to remove the benches along the wall of New Road.

READ MORE: Labour pledges town centre patrols and new powers to tackle antisocial behaviour

“We will be talking with residents and the police about this whole issue as a priority.”

The Green Party did not respond to a request for comment.

In Feburary the Labour Party issued a national pledge to crack down on antisocial behaviour.

The Argus: Just before the final two benches were taken awayJust before the final two benches were taken away (Image: The Argus)

At the centre of the proposals, Labour has pledged to introduce “respect orders” which would create a new criminal offence for repeat adult antisocial behaviour offenders.

Police and courts would be able to take rapid enforcement action under the plans.

Nearly a quarter of criminal damage and arson offenders reoffend, as do more than a third of public order offenders, Labour said, citing the latest figures.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said some town centres have been particularly hard hit with vandalism, street drinking, harassment and abuse that “undermines communities, blights town centres and leaves people feeling unsafe”.

“The Conservatives have turned their backs on communities struggling with antisocial behaviour – cutting neighbourhood police and cutting enforcement action," she said.

“The next Labour government will put neighbourhood police back on the beat and make sure they have proper powers to act against repeat antisocial behaviour offenders.”