ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour in Canford Heath saw a "significant rise" during the summer - but reports of problems have now dropped substantially, police say.

Inspector Ady Thompson hailed the work of his officers after an operation to tackle issues at the estate.

As reported in the Daily Echo, MP Michael Tomlinson called a public meeting in August following a spate of anti-social behaviour. Residents claimed gangs of youths were involved in intimidation, vandalism, theft and assault.

On Saturday evening, a married couple said they were attacked by 10 to 15 children aged 11 to 14 as they walked to their home in Southbrook Close.

Married couple were 'attacked by gang of children as young as 11' in Canford Heath

Diane and Mark White were taken to hospital for their injuries after the incident, and Mr White was initially arrested before being released without charge shortly afterwards.

Police say the incident involving the Whites is not connected to the summer's issues.

Insp Thompson, said: “Over the 2018 summer period, Canford Heath did see a significant rise in anti-social behaviour.

“Following this, Poole's neighbourhood policing team ran a targeted operation drawing in resources from other areas to support the problem and target offenders.

"We worked jointly with the council's safer communities team, housing, social care and children’s services to identify those involved and seek a resolution for each individual based on their needs and level of offending.

“There is a very close community in Canford Heath and the Association of Residents of Canford Heath, the neighbourhood watch, the youth club, social clubs and small community groups all play a big part in letting us know what is happening in the area. We are committed to responding to any issues proportionally and quickly.

“Current levels of anti-social behaviour are lower than the summer period and it is expected this trend will continue.

“Our work has received very positive responses from both local councillors and MP Michael Tomlinson."

Police will continue to tackle any problems which may arise with the help of the safer communities team, he said.

“The incident on Saturday, while unpleasant for the individuals involved, is not directly linked to the summer issues or offenders," Insp Thompson said.

“We will however continue to patrol the local park where the altercation happened and respond to any anti-social behaviour reports in the area.

“Anti-social behaviour is not a problem we can arrest our way out of.

"There are complex social needs that need to be addressed. We will continue to work together with our partners to tackle issues in our communities.”