POLICE patrols have been stepped up at Duke Street Park in Formby after a spate of nuisance behaviour by gangs of youths.
Fireworks and other objects being thrown at cars and pedestrians, and a bus shelter being smashed were among the incidents of unruly behaviour reported by residents.
More police have been patrolling the park and dispersal zones have been put in place to address the situation.
Ravenmeols councillor Nina Killen said police had found Formby ‘particularly challenging’ lately.
She said: “Unfortunately this has become all too common in the run up to so-called mischief night and bonfire night.
“It is happening every year and earlier this year, and I think even the police have been shocked at incidents over the last few weeks.
“I have been liaising with residents, police and the council to try to find a way to address these issues.
“The behaviour of these people is completely unacceptable and residents should not have to live with it.
“The police tell me Formby has been really challenging lately and it’s not just young people from Formby causing issues.
“People are travelling into Sefton on the train, to Formby and Southport.
“The police have had additional officers on every weekend for the past four weeks and have used the dispersal powers on most of those days.
“Officers have been working their rest days to bolster numbers because of the number of young people involved and the type of behaviour they are engaging in.”
She added: “The police will undertake follow-ups with parents and schools for all children they identify and they tell me they intend to keep their additional presence throughout the coming weekends leading up to mischief night and bonfire night.
“It is a real challenge for the police due to the number of young people involved.
“British Transport Police are involved and they do try to stop young people from travelling to the area but it not possible for that to be 100% effective.
Cllr Killen continued: “I have family who live around the edges of Duke St park so I am well aware of everything that is going on and how distressing it is for the residents.”
Police introduced a Dispersal Zone in the Duke Street park area on Friday, October 22 in response to continued reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.
The order ran from 4pm until 3.59pm on Sunday, October 24.
The Dispersal Zone covered the area of Long Lane Footpath, Church Road, Liverpool Road, Altcar Lane, Hoggs Hill Lane, the Railway line, Kirklake Road, Woodlands Road, Wicks Lane and Freshfield Road.