A town-centre alcohol restriction zone is to be extended to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

A drinking in public places order (DPPO) covering the centre of Worthing allows police to confiscate alcohol, whether it has been opened or not.

But Worthing Borough Council is considering extending the zone across the whole town after evidence suggested irresponsible drinkers were moving to areas outside the ban.

The extension would not prohibit people from drinking in a public place if they are being sensible or not causing a nuisance or a disturbance.

The council consulted with the public and licensees and neighbouring authorities about the proposed extension.

The results were presented to the council's cabinet at its meeting at Worthing Town Hall on Monday.

The report showed the council received 126 responses, 104 from licensees, 15 from the public, five from adjoining authorities and three from minority groups, one of whom was also a licensee.

The majority of people who responded agreed with the extension and only one disagreed, questioning the police's resources to deal with an extension on the zone.

Haydn Smith, assistant director of health and housing services, said: "There's overwhelming support for this order.

"The proposal could come into effect by March 1, 2006."

Lib Dem councillor Bob Smytherman, who is the opposition leader on the council, said: "Both political groups and the public are 100 per cent behind what the council is doing."

Mr Smith said both neighbouring Adur and Arun councils were also backing the proposal.

The cabinet agreed to recommend the full council approves the DPPO extension when it convenes on December 20.