ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour was reported on an almost daily basis in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens this summer.

The spate of vandalism by youths has seen flower beds trampled and broken glass left around the toilet block. The council says one particular group of individuals had caused problems across the town centre. Dorset Police also dealt with a number of violent scuffles near the seafront. One incident, which happened in August, involved a 13-year-old boy who had been drinking alcohol.

According to police, the boy was intoxicated and was threatening violence. As a result he was restrained by officers at the scene. And two teenage boys were assaulted during a clash involving a large group of youths on the seafront last month.

Bournemouth Gardens and Pier Approach have designated public spaces protection orders in place. This means consumption of alcohol in these areas is not permitted.

At a meeting of the Lower Central Gardens Trust Board on Monday, Michael Rowland, head of parks development, updated members on plans to redesign the toilet block area to reduce anti-social behaviour.

“There’s been a lot of vandalism this year around the area we call the Seven Sisters – the flower beds in front of the toilets,” he said.

“There was almost daily damage in that area between June and September. There was a particular group of individuals that caused problems – not just in the gardens but in other areas of the town. The council is working with police as part of a wider investigation, and we would not expect to see the level of anti-social behaviour we saw this year again next year. Part of our work re-designing the toilets and the balloon catering kiosk will be to try and consider the issues we get with anti-social behaviour.”

Initial work to develop concepts and gain pre-planning advice for the refurbishment of the toilets has begun. It coincides with plans to replace former balloon operator S&D Leisure’s kiosk near the entrance from the Square. The company’s contract ends on November 10.

Mr Rowland said potential ideas included re-locating the kiosk and the toilet block to the back of the Seven Sisters area so a member of staff can oversee the area. Chairman of the board, Cllr Robert Chapman, said there was “no excuse for vandalism and the deliberate trashing” of the gardens.

He called for “more support from the police in trying to control the situation”.

Cllr David Smith defended BH2 following a suggestion the complex’s proximity to the gardens had encouraged youths to loiter in the area.

“I don’t think it’s fair to apportion any blame to BH2.”