POLICE have vowed to take action as gangs of youths have been terrorising residents of Upton recently.

Members of the public have reported being intimidated by gangs of young people, with some even fearing for their safety. Other recent reports to police include eggs and stones being thrown at cars and shouting and swearing at passing vehicles.

The gangs have been walking around the area with scarves covering their faces.

Inspector Andy Keel, of Purbeck police, said patrols had been stepped up in the area in light of the incidents.

“There has recently been an increase in reported anti-social behaviour in the Upton area, which could be linked to the Easter holidays,” he said.

“Purbeck Neighbour Policing Team and our partner agencies are committed to tackling the issue and would ask anybody who witnesses or has information about such behaviour to contact Dorset Police on 101 or via the force website.

“Although we have no wish to criminalise young people we recognise the impact of anti-social behaviour on both the individual and the community alike.

“With this in mind Purbeck police and our partner agencies will take proportionate, yet positive, action to reduce it. This will include use of warning letters, visits to parents, proactive use of anti-social behaviour contracts and, as a last resort, criminal behaviour orders.

“By knowing what young family members are up to and by adopting closer working relationships we can reduce anti-social behaviour and the fear of it within our communities,” he added.

Officers will be carrying out high visibility patrols to reassure the community, while enforcing dispersal notices and gathering information on the individuals causing problems.

Purbeck police have informed residents on Facebook about the action being taken to tackle the issue.

One commenter said the recent escalation in anti-social behaviour was “disgusting” and “needs to be stopped now before it gets any worse”.

Another said they were afraid to ride through Upton on their bicycle for fear of being verbally assaulted by the youths.

And several residents said they believed yobs had damaged a bus stop at The Triangle in Upton, smashing the glass.