DRUG taking, public drinking and abusive behaviour are everyday events for Ashley Road residents in Poole – according to some local councillors.

A petition with more than 2,000 signatures is calling on BCP Council and the police to make the area safer.

Presenting the petition to the September full council meeting Cllr Millie Earl said although the situation had recently improved most people would still find it intolerable.

She spoke or people going to the toilet in public, even having sex, with the majority of problems not caused by rough sleepers but those living in supported housing.

“Some of them have been living in the area for years and have not changed their behaviour,” she told the council meeting, calling for all of the agencies involved to work together and find a long-term solution.

She suggested that drug and alcohol services and mental health teams might need to adapt their approach and work in similar ways to their colleagues in Bournemouth, going into the housing projects rather than working outside.

Cllr Sandra Moore said that while she appreciated the problems were caused by vulnerable people who needed help she said it was not pleasant for families on the school run to come across street drinkers.

There was criticism of the petition from Conservative councillors. Vice chair of the police and crime panel Cllr Bobbie Dove said there was disappointment that Cllr Earl and her colleagues had not approached the police and crime commissioner back in April when the petition started.

It was also claimed that  in June when community safety portfolio holder Cllr May Haines offered to work together on the issue the decision had been made to continue with the petition instead, forcing a debate at council.

Cllr Dove said the police had been working on the problems and the police and crime commissioner had grant money available which might be able to help. In addition, there had already been extra funding for a full-time community safety officer.

The meeting backed a move for a joint report with the police, which will be presented to Cabinet with all councillors with an interest in the problems invited to attend later in the year.