COMMUNITY Support Officers (CSOs) have been given greater legal powers to help make the Isle of Wight streets safer.
Under the national Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS), CSOs, employed by the Isle of Wight Council, can now carry out a range of additional tasks.
These include the authority to stop people cycling on footpaths, ordering people to hand over alcohol in areas where drinking is banned, the confiscation of alcohol from under-18s and the power to get under-16s to surrender tobacco.
CSOs are also allowed to issue £30 fixed penalty notices to anyone who cycles on a footpath, ask for people’s names and addresses and direct traffic and the flow of pedestrians at licensed events.
Cllr Roger Mazillius, Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: "Anything the Isle of Wight Council can do to help make the Island safer and further support the police is welcome.
"The CSAS allows council officers to work more closely with the police on clamping down on anti-social behaviour. It is another good example of a partnership working."
According to the CSAS website, the initiative was made possible through the Police Reform Act 2002. It allows organisations that provide community safety and security to gain Hampshire Constabulary accreditation.
Extended police family inspector Julie Rawson said: "The additional powers given to CSOs will enable anti-social behaviour to be tackled more effectively and will strengthen the Isle of Wight Council’s partnership with Hampshire Constabulary."