Devizes police are targeting people who become rowdy and occasionally violent after drinking too much on Friday and Saturday nights in the town.

Although trouble after dark has become less of a problem in the town over the last few years, the perception is that it is still not safe to walk the streets late at night at weekends.

This has been made worse by the small percentage of drinkers who become out of control after a few drinks and they will now face a drink banning order if they do not moderate their alcohol intake and their behaviour.

Sgt Jo Spencer at Devizes police station said that she and her colleagues are making use of provisions in the Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2006 to threaten drunks with the orders, similar to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), that will see them banned from every licensed premises in the area, including supermarkets.

Sgt Spencer said this kind of behaviour is rare in Devizes, which is a low crime area, but a “very few forget where they are and how they should behave”.

He said they would be sent a letter telling them to moderate their behaviour and that if they still did not they could be taken to court and receive a banning order – a system already used effectively in Swindon and Trowbridge – meaning they would be banned from going into licensed premises for between two months and two years.

They may also be sent on a course, similar to the drink-drive awareness course, to show them how to cut down their dependence on alcohol.

Although the police say the move is not linked to specific incidents, there have been a number of alcohol-related assaults in the town since Christmas. In one case, a local man sustained serious facial injuries outside the Corn Exchange.

A man is due to appear at Salisbury Crown Court shortly charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.