GANGS of youths are “congregating and intimidating” beach hut users in Poole, with drug abuse, smashed windows and graffiti being reported. 

Beach hut owners and renters just off Shore Road in Sandbanks have put in numerous complaints to police and council about anti-social behaviour taking place particularly in the evenings. 

They say a group of up to 100 teens are causing “chaos and misery”, and, with a yearly lease of up to £5,500, they are demanding the police and council listen to their concerns. 

Poole resident Zin Matthews said teens aged around 14 are “doing laughing gas, balloons, underage drinking and smashing bottles”. 

Bournemouth Echo: 'Gang of youths''Gang of youths' (Image: Sent in by reader)

She said: “There is also a lot of vandalism, which is the worst of it, because a can of paint has been thrown on the wall and windows have been smashed. 

“Some of the windows look like Superman has gone ‘kapow’ on them and broken the glass.

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“It makes us very angry because we pay a lot of money to stay here, but we want something in place to deter them and stop this.” 

She wants to see deterrents, including motion sensor lighting and CCTV cameras, installed by the council to stop the youths from acting antisocially around the huts. 

Bournemouth Echo: Windows have been smashed on the hutsWindows have been smashed on the huts (Image: Daily Echo)

“There also needs to be signs saying ‘keyholders only, no trespassing on roof’ because people are climbing on them,” she added. 

Sue Smith has witnessed around 80 to 100 teens congregate along the beach huts, alleging some “smoke cannabis and drink alcohol”. 

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The 35-year-old said: “We have had our window smashed, graffiti thrown on the hut and we know it was them because the paint matches the one on the curtains of their hut. 

“I’ve felt very intimidated and have got lots of abuse, but I’m cross at the police and council’s lack of interest in this when we report it.

“They need to have a zero-tolerance approach; there are laws saying you can’t ride e-scooters, they should be confiscated.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Beach huts in SandbanksBeach huts in Sandbanks (Image: Daily Echo)

John Pullen, 57, said: “There was a group of kids gathering during the course of the evening and it eventually grew to about 90. 

“They were drinking, smoking cannabis, running across roofs – they are completely unruly and it is pretty unpleasant. 

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“I know some people who have said this year will probably be their last renting the hut because they’ve had enough.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Paint has been thrown on the wallsPaint has been thrown on the walls (Image: Daily Echo)

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said officers in Poole regularly patrol the seafront during the summer months as part of Operation Sandman.

Sandman tackles "under age drinking, large out of control parties with youths in groups of more than 10 people and wider anti-social behaviour (ASB) and crime that occurs as a result e.g. criminal damage, drug taking, fighting, shoplifting, beach fires and trespassing at businesses in the area."

Councillor Kieron Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services said BCP Council is determined to tackle anti-social behaviour and are working "proactively" to tackle it.

He said: “CCTV is already in place at Shore Rd, and the camera will remain covering this location in the evenings. There are ‘fragile roof’ signs in place to warn people of the dangers of trespassing.  

“We continue to work with our partners to conduct patrols and provide advice, but it is important that incidents are reported to the police at the time they are taking place."

He asked residents to report ASB to or by ringing 01202 128883.