WALCOT has become lawless and things are getting desperate, say worried locals.

People who live in the area have reported a surge in anti-social behaviour in recent weeks, and have seen a heavy police presence in and around Sussex Place.

Pensioner Trevor Davey, who has lived in Walcot for the past two years, said he had serious concerns about his own safety.

He said: “We have youths that are out of control. They throw things at houses and break in to other people’s property. It has to stop.

“There are some elderly people round here who are genuinely terrified. They shouldn’t have to live like that, it’s not fair.”

It comes just two months after residents in Walcot claimed they did not feel safe in their own homes.

Abdul Amin, councillor for Walcot and Park North, accepted the pressures faced by police, but urged them to do more to tackle the problems.

Peter Mallinson, who runs the Walcot Community Shop in Sussex Place, said: “The staff here are extremely concerned about what’s going on, and we don’t know any details whatsoever.

“There have been a lot of break-ins at the back of the shop recently and it’s becoming a bit of a lawless area. Things are getting to the stage of being desperate.”

Labour councillor Derique Montaut backed up Peter’s claims.

He said that someone had tried to steal from the community shop just last week.

“It is a common incident where people lift things from the shop which is there to help and support the local community, and it’s shocking,” he said.

“I do realise that dealing with teenagers and youth offenders is difficult for the police, but it needs sorting out. We cannot go on like this.

“These incidents are happening far too frequently and we want to know what the police are doing about it.”

Derique and Peter said they had seen two large police contingents in the area in the past seven days, and they demanded to know if it was a concerted attempt at a crackdown.

In response, a spokesman from Wiltshire Police said: “We have increased patrols in Sussex Square area recently due to reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.

“Our officers are working hard with partner agencies to deal with a small group of individuals to solve this and hopefully provide a long term solution. We will continue to conduct hi-viz patrols

“If anyone has any further information or can help with our enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.”