A LACK of community policing is to blame for rise in anti-social behaviour, claims councillor.

There has recently been an increase in reports of crime and disorder at the Knightwood Leisure Centre in Chandler’s Ford.

Resident and councillor Alan Dowden has claimed that drugs are being taken there, fences are being broken, and litter is being scattered.

The area that includes facilities like a skatepark, BMX track and a basketball court and has become a popular meeting point for the local youth.

Councillor Dowden said: “There’s a lot of top quality facilities there.

“I’ve been proud to gain it all because the youth really enjoy it and at least they’re doing activities that are using their energy in a positive way.

“But you will always get this element that won’t do these activities, they will come because there is crowds, and then they cause mischief.”

Police have been patrolling the area over the weekend, with a Section 35 Dispersal Order put in place, allowing them to remove anyone who is causing crime or disorder.

Despite this though, Councillor Dowden feels that not enough is being done in the area, and that there should be more community police to resolve the issue.

He added: “I am not happy at all. When we were policed years ago from Eastleigh we had quite a police presence.

“They eradicated anti-social behaviour and drink problems and it was as it should be, a lovely place to live.

“This needn’t have happened if we had community policing.”

Clean ups have taken been taking place, with members of the public going in to pick up the mess left behind.

But “they shouldn’t have to do it” claims councillor Dowden, who has also been there himself to try and keep the community clean.

“The public are frustrated with the lack of policing.

“I do understand and I do have a sympathy with police because I know they haven’t got sufficient officers.”

“But more policing is the only answer.”