MORE than 20 anxious residents turned out to voice their fears over "dangerous levels" of anti-social behaviour in Christchurch.

They gathered in Purewell at a so-called street corner meeting to meet police and local councillors.

The meeting was prompted by a recent attack where a pellet was fired at a bus, narrowly missing passengers as it smashed through a side window and burst out the other side.

One of the passengers was an 83-year-old woman who was left shaken by the incident and residents claim someone could be killed unless action is taken against unruly youths.

They told police they want more done to ensure offenders are arrested and charged for offences committed in the area.

But officers present admitted they don't have as many officers to tackle such incidents as they did in the past.

Police Community Support Officer(PCSO) Karl Stark told them: "We are as frustrated with the lack of resources as you are."

And he urged them to report all incidents, no matter how small, so police can build up a picture of hotspots and target resources more effectively.

One resident claimed police take too long to attend if she reports a crime in progress.

And PCSO Laura Martin added: "We understand your frustrations when it comes to times and the number of officers. We have no control over it."

Residents told of problems in the Somerford and Purewell areas, many involving teenagers and young adults.

One Purewell resident said: "I am too afraid to go out on my own. My son wants me to move away from Purewell because it is dangerous.

"There are a lot of drug dealers - the police should lock them up and throw away the key."

Another said: "The people we are talking about are young adults - they are not kids. They have taken it up a level - what's the next level going to be?"

Earlier this month someone using a catapult smashed the window of a bus travelling through Somerford and stones were also hurled at cars.

And last week a resident in Stanpit had paint daubed all over the front of her house.

Numerous other instances of anti-social behaviour have been reported in the area including youths letting off fireworks in close proximity to people's homes.

Claire Wade's mother-in-law was on the bus which was targeted in Purewell.

She said: "It is really flaring up at the moment. It has got to a dangerous level. It is not the police's fault - there are not enough of them."

Cllr Lesley Dedman urged people to report all offences to the police.

But she added: "It's hard to get through o the phone and some people have trouble reporting crime on the internet. All this technology is no substitute for knocking at a police station door."