AREAS of Bournemouth have turned into ‘ghettos’ because of a lack of council and police involvement, a councillor has claimed.

Police have fired back at Cllr Nick Rose's claims the police are 'failing' across his ward, Westbourne and West Cliff.

In a letter to Inspector Adam Gill, who is responsible for Bournemouth South, Cllr Rose said there are “significant problems” with drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.

Areas near the Mint and Manchester hotels, both of which are in St Michael’s Road, as well as the West Hill car park, are particularly badly affected, he said.

In the letter, Cllr Rose said: “The council and police have allowed this area to deteriorate to almost ghetto status over the past 15 to 20 years, making the lives of the last few remaining indigenous home owners a misery.

“For a few years we did have a council-led initiative of the West Hill Action Group to help improve the area. Police first came to those meetings, but then said they had more pressing matters to attend to.”

Among the initiatives promoted by the council are inspections of HMOs and better communal bins.

However, Cllr Rose said: “Much more needs to be done on our side, and likewise I believe much more needs to be done on the police’s side too, as police involvement has been, to my knowledge, woefully limited.”

He has urged police to attend a meeting in the area with ward councillors and any interested parties.

The councillor has also asked for Dorset Police to re-engage with the West Hill Action Group.

Police priorities for Westbourne and West Cliff were reviewed this month.

Officers are now encouraged to focus on tackling anti-social behaviour, disrupting county lines drug dealing and safeguarding any vulnerable victims.

Insp Gill said: “We can categorically say that police have not withdrawn from the Westbourne or West Hill Road areas of Bournemouth and those areas are regularly patrolled each day.

“Bournemouth Community Safety Partnership, comprising the local council and other partner agencies, has directed priorities on county lines drug dealing, domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour.

“Dealing with county lines and dealers is not specific to singular pockets in the town. Officers regularly take action. For example, they stopped and arrested a man in the West Hill Road area on Friday on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue. Also, there have been recent significant arrests in the area, where class A drugs were located along with large amounts of cash.

“We have ongoing cases in Westbourne that we are dealing with together with the local council anti-social behaviour team. The West Hill Action Group is currently being relaunched to deal with the present needs of the community. A joint police and council enviroclean initiative is also planned in the very near future.

“Officers attended two local meetings this week – West Cliff on Tuesday and Westbourne on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Cllr Nick Rose was not present at either meeting to discuss any concerns.”