FAMILIES are scared to leave their homes and claim their lives are being made hell due to antisocial behaviour on their doorsteps.

Residents claim not enough is being done to combat the problems in York Road, Southend, and their lives are being made a misery.

Tammi Helman, who has lived in the area for eight years, says things are worse than ever and people feel intimidated outside their own homes.

The 47-year-old said: “There are tenants of the house of multiple occupancies and HARP who are making our lives hell. They hang on the grass of Toledo Road and sit on the walls of our homes.

“They are rude, disrespectful and have no consideration - drinking alcohol and smoking drugs, blasting music out to the early hours, shouting and starting fights then littering or urinating in front of everyone. Some neighbours won’t have windows open or sit outside. There used to be a lot of dog walkers and kids playing here but now everyone stays away.

“It is getting ridiculous and something needs to be done now. Residents are afraid to say anything to them.”

Another woman, who has asked to be anonymous, said the street’s reputation should not mean it gets neglected. She added: “To say what do you expect living in York Road is nonsense. We get charged just as much council tax as anyone else so why are our fears being ignored.

“Most of them aren’t from here and just come to hang out with residents from HARP. As it’s summer, our windows are open and that means our children are listening to them swearing and smell the weed which comes through most nights. If Southend Council really wants to turn this area into a ghetto give us the money to get a like-for-like property somewhere better and we will happily leave them to turn this once-pleasant area with beautiful character houses to become a cesspool.”

Mark Flewitt, Southend councillor for public protection, praised HARP’s work and insisted security measures were in place and the council was working with police.

Chief Insp Neil Pudney, Southend’s district commander, said: “Through partnership we work together to robustly tackle antisocial behaviour as we all recognise the huge impact this can have on the quality of life of residents. This work has seen us carry out regular action days in the York Road area. We also continue to work with established residents to ensure their views are heard on how we can all work together to improve life. We have successfully sought court orders and our partners have worked to evict those contributing to anti-social behaviour and crime in the area.

“We need the community to help us by reporting any incidents to us by calling us on 101.”

Jackie Bliss, HARP Chief Executive, said: “The idea that all street drinkers in the area are people who have been turned away from HARP is simply not true. We have an active security team at the Bradbury Centre, and in the rare instances where a decision is made to deny access due to intoxication, this is done with the safety of other service users, volunteers and staff in mind.”