HARROW is one step closer to being an alcohol-free borough after more than 90 per cent of those who responsded to a public consultation backed the council's plans.
Under the plans, the so-called alcohol exclusion zone, which was introduced in 2006, and currently covers Harrow town centre, Wealdstone and sections of South Harrow, would be extended to cover the entire borough.
Both Hillingdon and Brent councils have taken similar measures, but this has prompted fears that troublemakers may be forced over the borders into Harrow.
Anyone binge drinking or causing anti-social behaviour inside the new designated zone would be stopped by police under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 and ordered to hand over their alcohol or be arrested.
Twelve letters were received by Harrow Council during the formal consultation on the proposal between March and June. Eleven were in favour, of which three came from residents' associations, and there was just one against.
Councillor Susan Hall (Conservative), portfolio holder for environment services, said: "This ban is not about people who might enjoy a glass of wine with a picnic in the park.
"What it is about is tackling the kind of anti-social behaviour which intimidates or causes disturbance to our residents, where street drinkers, groups of youths or others gather and drink in town centres, parks and other public areas.
"Harrow is known for its open green spaces, but we want these to be places for everyone to enjoy, not a sanctuary for anti-social drinkers."
A report on the proposed exclusion zone, including the findings of the consultation, will be considered by the council's licensing and general purposes committee on June 23, which will make a recommendation to the council's cabinet committee on July 17.
If the cabinet approves the borough-wide ban it will become active at the end of July and warning signs about the new zone placed at all approach roads into Harrow.
Ruth Boff, honorary secretary of The Pinner Association, said: "We were positive because we have heard of problems in places near the borough boundary with Hillingdon. The troublemakers know where the boundary line is and come across.
"We were a bit doubtful in the beginning because we didn't want to stop responsible people having a drink with a picnic in the park or on a table out-side a pub but we were assured it was a power to only be used when necessary.
"It's just one more thing to stop a situation getting too bad."