A NEIGHBOURHOOD watch group has seen numbers at its meetings treble.

The Poole Hill Neighbourhood Watch Group in Bournemouth town centre moved its get–togethers from the Goat and Tricycle pub to the main library and co-ordinator Norman Decent believes that has caused the extra interest.

“Moving to the library has allowed other people that did not want to come to a pub to come and talk about their problems,” Norman said.

“It’s brought a lot of people out of the woodwork.”

Norman welcomed 32 people to the last meeting.

He is also holding Saturday surgeries at the library for those who cannot make the meetings or want to talk to him directly.

Norman has only seen a few people coming to these each week so far, but he is happy that ‘people are coming’, he said.

He has also seen numbers grow after changing from running a group in the West Hill area to co-ordinating the new larger Poole Hill watch.

At the latest meeting at the library, the third to be held there, residents highlighted concerns about drugs, with one mum saying her daughter found a needle near Purbeck Road and St Michael’s Road.

And Norman said protecting children is the inspiration behind him trying to help police stamp out dealing in the area.

He said: “That person told us about her daughter finding a syringe and she was obviously very upset.

“In general a lot of people have concerns about drugs. And beggars in the area are coming back again.

“If people inform the police we can try to get them moved on.”

Norman is also trying to get off licences to stop selling single cans to drinkers after residents at the meeting raised concerns about ‘drunks’.

The last meeting was attended by Bournemouth councillors Rae Stollard and Dave Smith, and the police.

Residents also voiced fears about litter and those who spot rubbish were encouraged to call the Ask Bournemouth council number 01202 461199.

The next Poole Hill Neighbourhood Watch meeting is on Tuesday, November 13 at the library at 6pm.

The Saturday surgeries will be continuing at the library from 10.30am to 3.30pm.