POLICE want to create a drinking exclusion zone at one of Ilkley's most popular attractions in a bid to crack down on troublemakers from out of town.

Keighley Division officers are seeking the support of Bradford Council and Ilkley Parish Council for a Designated Public Places Order at the Riverside Gardens.

Police say they have been called to problems in the park during the warmer months to deal with anti-social behaviour, disturbances, and causing a nuisance to other visitors.

Officers already have the power to confiscate alcohol from under age drinkers, but they cannot take action against older drinkers unless they actually break the law.

Inspector Mark Allsop of Keighley and Ilkley Neighbour-hood Policing Team, said: "There have been a number of issues of anti-social drinking down by the Riverside Gardens during the warmer months. Whilst we have powers to seize alcohol from under age youths there are issues with older youths, generally coming into Ilkley via the train network, with multi-packs of alcohol.

"These youths have frequently been involved in anti-social behaviour, disturbances, and generally spoil the gardens for other public users.

"But they are keen to point out that people enjoying a drink with a quiet family picnic will not run into trouble with the law.

"The legislation is solely aimed an anti-social drinking and not someone having a quiet drink at the riverside with a picnic," said Insp Allsop.

"It is to prevent the stage we have currently where we have to wait until these people breach some other law, for example, drunk and disorderly, breach of the peace, public order offences or even assault before we can take positive action.

"The aim is to keep the peace and ensure that the gardens and town centre can be enjoyed by all.

"We want to work in consultation with the parish council and local people to ensure that they are happy with this and the aims to keep the peace."

Local authorities in a number of other areas have already brought in similar orders working with police.

Insp Allsop says an anti-social drinking exclusion zone has been introduced in Skipton.

Police want to discuss the possibility of bringing in similar measures at Ilkley's Riverside gardens with Ilkley Parish Council and an expert from Bradford Council.

Police officers are expected to visit Ilkley Parish Council's meeting on Monday to present their proposals.

Council chairman Councillor Heathcliffe Bowen said: "Many other councils have done this. We'll just have to hear what the police have to say."

Parish councillor Lexa Robinson, who keeps an eye on the riverside area, was keen to see such an order brought in at the grassed area near the suspension bridge, where she says anti-social behaviour is a problem.