RESIDENTS in West Cliff have expressed strong concerns over the levels of anti-social behaviour and criminality in the area, after a man was jailed for assaulting a police officer in West Cliff Gardens.

BCP Council have said that a multi-agency approach has been taken to combat the rise in anti-social behaviour in the area, with a closure order used on a property where there was “significant disorder”.

Dorset Police received a report of a disturbance at a property in West Cliff Gardens, Bournemouth involving a man and woman who were allegedly acting in an abusive and aggressive manner.

Darren Stuart Amor, aged 46 and of Coombes Road, Shillingstone, Blandford, was jailed for four weeks after he admitted assaulting a police officer, being drunk and disorderly in a public place and breaching a criminal behaviour order.

A police spokesman said: “At 5.26pm on Wednesday August 5, Dorset Police received a report of a disturbance at a property in West Cliff Gardens in Bournemouth involving a man and woman who were allegedly acting in an abusive and aggressive manner.

“Officers attended and a 46-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman were both arrested. Both reportedly assaulted officers as they went to detain them.

“The 41-year-old woman was given a conditional caution for being drunk and disorderly in a public place.”

Amor was also ordered to pay £50 compensation PC Cave for the assault offence.

Westcliff residents have said this is the latest in a long spate of anti-social behaviour seen on West Cliff Gardens, which they have said has come about from the number of HMOs in the area.

The West Hill project has inspected over 1100 residential addresses in the two year project, and found unlicensed HMOs and served a lot of notices to bring conditions up and deal with wider issues.

One resident said: “I cannot tell you the anger, misery and despair that the residents of the West Cliff feel with the antisocial behaviour of those who have been taken into the Ullswater Hotel.

“Local residents would be the first to assist genuine people who are homeless but the almost daily behaviour of those residing at the Ullswater of drinking alcohol outside, intimidating local residents and especially the guests at the Sands and Tower House Hotels, noise through the nights, urinating in public and causing so much unhappiness to those who have lived in the area for years is beyond belief.”

Ward Councillors have echoed the thoughts of West Cliff Neighbourhood Watch, who have said that the poor quality of HMOs has led to an increased and persistent level of anti-social behaviour and criminality, risk residents and businesses.

Cllr John Beesley said: “The central issue has been the number of HMOs in the West Cliff area and the perception of there being a lack of enforcement against hotels which convert to HMO’s without planning consent.

“At our regular Neighbourhood Policing meeting, I raised the issue and the need to identify which hotels are currently in breach to ensure that robust planning enforcement commences against those which are trading without consent.

“Local residents are understandably angry about hotels which are turned into unauthorised HMOs. In almost every case they do absolutely nothing to enhance the area.”

A spokesperson from BCP Council, added: “BCP Council work in close partnership with Dorset Police to tackle anti-social behaviour and for some time now the West Hill & West Cliff area have been a priority area for our work.

“There is a dedicated multi-agency meeting which meets regularly to address issues. We have taken action against individuals causing ASB, using injunctions and other enforcement powers.

“Our Private Sector Housing team continue to work closely with landlords to ensure that all houses of multiple occupation meet required standards and will take enforcement action where necessary.”