Senior council figures have backed plans to give officials the power to dish out £100 on-the-spot fines for drinking, begging and urinating in two town centres.

Waltham Forest council cabinet members have signed off on a public consultation over proposals to create Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in Leytonstone High Road and central Walthamstow.

If given the green light, the orders would allow police, PCSOs and council officers to issue instant £100 fines for anyone found committing one of several anti-social behaviour offences in the areas.

Officers would be able to hand out tickets for street drinking, aggressive begging, urination and threatening behaviour, or to people congregating to take drugs or cause a nuisance to neighbours.

An Alcohol Restriction Zone (ARZ) has been in place to prevent street drinking in central Walthamstow since 2008. However, the measures can only be enforced by police officers.

Cabinet members gave their support to the measures at a meeting on Tuesday (March 21), agreeing to stage a public consultation on plans.

Speaking at the meeting, deputy council leader, Clyde Loakes, said: “There is an increasing expectation from residents that we will do more to ensure our town centres continue to be safe.

“This comes as a consequence of the police slowly withdrawing from some of the more traditional roles that they would have had in our town centres.

“This is not an attack on homeless people, this is about aggressive begging, people who make a living out of that, they are not homeless, they pester and intimidate.

“These are powers that other councils have adopted, this is not infringing human rights, this is about making sure our town centres are safe places for residents to go about their daily business.”

Walthamstow High Street and Leytonstone are the two council wards most affected by anti-social crimes, with 31 and 16 incidents in each area respectively reported to police between March and November last year.

A third PSPO, aimed at curbing street prostitution, has also been proposed for the Lea Bridge area of Leyton, although a consultation on the plan has yet to be announced.

Suja Khaled, who has run Luna Lounge in Church Lane, Leytonstone, since 2003, backed the move to give officers tougher powers to clamp down on town centre disorder.

Mr Khaled said: “I feel it is needed, we get street drinkers, we get people spitting on the roads and people putting massage parlour stickers on lampposts- it is horrible.

“It is lowering the standards in the area and there has been an increase in that kind of behaviour around here recently.”

“If you give officers more authority to fine people, then I really think it could make them change their behaviour, it sets the standard.”