Elmbridge Borough Council said that the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Walton-on-Thames town centre would be renewed following public consultation.

After frequent complaints about anti-social and disruptive behaviour in the area, Elmbridge Council (EBC) approved a PSPO for Walton town centre last year, and it came into effect on March 1, 2018.

Since its introduction, EBC said there was a 29 per cent reduction in reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area.

In a statement announcing the extension of the PSPO, EBC said that their decision was based on the views of the vast majority of Walton residents who had responded to their most recent public consultation on the issue, with a massive 99 per cent of respondents favouring an extension.

EBC said: "Following its success to date, Elmbridge undertook a public consultation on extending the PSPO for a further two years, where over 400 responses were received. Of the responses received, 99 per cent were in favour of the order being extended for a further 2 years until 28 February 2021."

The PSPO enables Elmbridge Borough Council to impose restrictions in a particular area with the aim of stopping individuals, or groups, committing anti-social behaviour in public spaces.

According to Surrey Police data published by EBC alongside the announcement, between April 2018 and December 2018, there were 180 recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour in Walton town centre — 74 fewer recorded incidents of this kind compared to the same period in the previous year

Councillor Andrew Burley, Portfolio Holder for Community and Social Affairs said: "Elmbridge received overwhelming support from residents, businesses and other stakeholders for the order which has been successful in reducing reports of rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour, and concerns about intimidating groups, substance misuse, and graffiti, whilst also improving feelings of safety for residents, shoppers and visitors generally.

"It was resolved by Cabinet in February 2019. We have established some regular youth outreach work in the town and a boxing club has now started at Walton Youth Centre."

The Borough Police also lauded the PSPO as a success, saying it had reduced anti-social behaviour.

Borough Commander, Inspector Dallas McDermott said: "Recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour in the Borough are in reduction compared to this time last year. Incidents in Walton-on-Thames have shown marked improvement in particular.

"We will continue to work in close partnership with the Council and other agencies to ensure that improvements continue to be made."