THEY were introduced to tackle foul and drunken behaviour blighting Southampton city centre.

Now, city council chiefs say a yellow card scheme has achieved its goal of curbing boozed-fuelled violence by nearly 30 per cent.

Police and bouncers issue them to rowdy and obnoxious drinkers. Anyone who gets two is barred from all pubs, clubs and other night spots.

Since the cards were introduced last year around 300 yobs have been “booked”. Twenty louts have been handed two.

Anyone banned goes on a database, which is shared with those on the frontline of the night time economy who are armed with radios and who meet up with the Safe City Partnership and police to discuss issues each fortnight.

The number of drink-related offences in the city centre fell from 401 during June and the end of September to 291 in the same period last year.

Overall crime has dropped by 14 per cent between 2009 and 2010 Councillor Phil Williams, Cabinet member for local services and community safety, said: “Keeping residents safe in Southampton is our main priority and we will continue to work with the police and other partners to keep crime down.”

Other night time economy initiatives in the war against binge drinking chaos include The In Case of Emergency Bus, based at the Cenotaph from 10pm-4am every Saturday night, street pastors and taxi marshals.

Night time economy manager Chris Caesar said: “It is a the pub watch scheme with teeth.

“It has also kept the prolific offenders out and helped lower the perception that the city centre is a violent place.”

Adam Winder, area manager for Securidoor which has door staff at 23 sites in the city centre, said the scheme has been a great deterrent.

He said: “Nobody wants to be out with their mates and be refused entry time and time again, they will get sick of it and so will their friends.

“I think it will really come into play in the Christmas and New Year period.”