POLICE have confirmed they will be “carrying out increased targeted patrols” following complaints over beer-drinking, drug-taking and anti-social behaviour in a children’s play park.

Residents of Colenzo Drive say the play park at the end of their street is being “abused” late at night by teenagers and adults.

The issue is said to have been a problem for a number of years now, with residents being kept up late at night and finding beer cans and, on one occasion, syringes in the park the following morning.

A meeting was held between disgruntled residents and representatives from the police and Test Valley Borough Council earlier this month.

There it was decided to remove the roof from one of the areas where people tend to congregate late at night, but one man who lives nearby says the changes have not had much effect.

William Munday, of Colenzo Drive, says he had to call the police four times over the weekend following the meeting he attended, but no officers attended on any of those occasions.

He adds that the group that was in the park on Saturday evening only left after being approached by the father of two children looking to use the park.

“There was a young family,” said William, “their kids were too scared to come into the playground and had to ask their dad to come and ask the youths to leave.”

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed to the Advertiser that the police were called, but police were not sent as “no criminal offences were disclosed”.

A statement from the police read: “We are aware of concerns raised relating to anti-social behaviour in the park area near Colenzo Drive and are working in partnership with Test Valley Borough Council to address these.

“Officers are already considering this area as part of routine patrols and we will be carrying out increased targeted patrols in this area.

“Police will respond to issues in this area where appropriate and take action if crimes are reported.

“We received calls on both Friday evening (September 13) and Saturday evening (September 14) relating to a congregation of youths in this area.

“However, no criminal offences were disclosed and there was no requirement for police deployment.

“All calls that come into our control room are risk assessed before a deployment decision is made. Factors include if a crime is on-going, whether there is an immediate threat to life, and whether there are any units available who are not responding to priority calls.

“Weekends can see an increased demand, and at the time of the call on Saturday evening, all local units were already committed to priority calls.”