And, after months of recruiting and training volunteers from the public, the first one was held last week.

Town centre police, who launched a crackdown on street drinkers under the name of Operation Arcadia, recommended ten of the most prolific in the group of about 50 drinkers they identified to go before the panels, which are attended voluntarily.

Six street drinkers appeared before the panel on August 9 and were handed six-month acceptable behaviour contracts after coming face-to-face with their victims, represented by the town centre management company inSwindon.

The sanctions included not being drunk in public in the borough area, not to congregate with three or more people in public and to engage with support agencies, such as Swindon and Wiltshire Alcohol and Drugs Service.

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