More than 100 people every week have been spoken to about poor behaviour on the town centre in the last month.

Swindon Borough Council, and its partners inSwindon BID and the police stepped up patrols in the centre to enforce its Public Space Protection Order last month.

Mark Walker the council’s community programme lead told members of the authority’s growing the economy overview and scrutiny committee that most people were apologetic when stopped.

“Of the people we’ve been stopping, the most frequent issue is cycling - but it’s not always, as you might imagine, young people. They are being stopped, but there are also a number of adults who are cycling to work or to the shops in the town centre," he said.

“When we stop and speak to them, the vast majority are apologetic and say they didn’t know and are willing to dismount and carry on.”

The cabinet member responsible for the increased enforcement, Oliver Donachie said more notices had been put up to try and better inform visitors to the centre about what they can, and more importantly can’t do.

He said: “The original signage was compliant with the law but was small - A4 notices and stickers on lamp posts. It was full of very small writing and you’d see it if you put on your glasses and stood very close.”

Coun Donachie said there were new A1-size mobile boards with the PSPO rules on now: “They are very large and they use more iconography - to make it easier to understand and they are placed in areas where they are very prominent.

“It would be hard to miss them, you’d have to walk past them with your eyes closed. And the beauty of them being mobile is that if there’s an issue somewhere they can be moved to provide more publicity to the users of that area.”

Mr Walker said the two main breaches of the order were people on bicycles and street drinkers: “We don’t have too much trouble with the other measures.” They include a stipulation against graffiti, including chalk.

He said there had been success with street drinkers: “Over the last year we’ve seen a group of street drinkers in the town centre, last winter we worked with a group of about 20. There were six injunctions applied for last January and five were secured and of those five, four have not been seen since, so they’ve mended their ways.

“There was one who persistently breached injunctions and he was given a prison sentence for those breaches.”

Chairman of the committee Emma Faramarzi said: “Thank you for your work, I’ve been saying for a long time we have needed more enforcement and without that the situation in the town centre wouldn’t improve.”