RESIDENTS of a Bournemouth estate were warned not to expect "1950s policing" during a public meeting on Wednesday night.

Scores of West Howe residents gathered at the Henry Brown Youth Centre to discuss their concerns about rising crime and anti-social behaviour.

The meeting was organised by Richard Arnold, who has lived in the area all his life. Mr Arnold, who set up a Facebook page for his neighbours, said thousands of people have now joined the page.

"It's given a lot of people the chance to say what we've been thinking about the area going downhill more recently," he said.

"I had no idea so many people felt the same way."

Sergeant Guy Nicholas, an officer from the area's neighbourhood policing team, urged residents to take action themselves to improve the estate.

"There's been talk about getting a neighbourhood watch team before - three years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago," he said

"Several attempts have been made. If I could wave a magic wand and have a watch that covered 80 per cent of West Howe, I'd be a happy person."

He told residents with concerns about drug dealing and other criminal offences to make "responsible, tailored, to the point reports" to police, but warned them not to expect a PC "on every corner".

"You want 1950s policing, don't you? A bobby on every corner. You're not going to get it. But what you can have is 1950s communities," Sgt Nicholas said.

"Neighbourhood watch creates 1950s communities in 2018. I think it'll work because we're all going to look out for each other."

Sgt Nicholas has been working in West Howe for three years. He has been seconded to a different post during the past six months, but is now returning to policing the estate.

"People power is an incredible thing when used correctly," he said.

"Myself and my team - we can't do it on our own. With the community as a whole, we can."