FAMILIES are calling for a bus shelter to be removed to stop drug deals on their doorsteps.

A resident of North Avenue, Southend, claims nothing is being done to help them and people are living in fear.

The 43-year-old says people are taking and selling drugs, drinking and causing havoc near her home.

A bus shelter is being used as a meeting point, she says.

She said: “It’s an absolute nightmare, we’ve had to phone the police on numerous occasions.

“I’m scared to leave the house. When my boyfriend is away for work I have to stay at my mums.

“I can’t even have my windows open because they smoke all sorts right outside, I can’t go to the shops at certain times because they’re out there, and I’m scared to even have my nieces and nephews round, who are eight and six.

“When I asked them to leave and stop spitting in my garden and hanging around outside they said they can ‘do whatever we want’.

“All I’m asking is to remove the shelter and have a bus stop post there instead. There are already two other bus stops along the road either side of this one within 100 metres which have shelters.

“They congregate around it to do the deals.”

Independent councillor Paul Van Looy said: “This has been going on for months and I’m really angry – all we want is the shelter removed. It doesn’t need to be there, if it’s moved I think trouble will move on.

“I’m very concerned for the residents of this road, I’ve had multiple complaints. There’s drug dealing through the night, antisocial behaviour, the shouting and swearing at two in the morning is keeping everyone awake, and they’re scared.

“It’s getting worse, I want residents to feel safe.”

Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, said: “I’m disappointed to hear that the anti-social actions of a minority are affecting this resident and her quality of life and understand the frustrations she has.

“I was made aware of the situation by the local ward councillor and have also raised the issue with officers and am meeting with them next week to discuss this further.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We increased high visibility and plain clothes patrols after concerns about antisocial behaviour and potential drug dealing were raised, and also carried out joint patrols with Southend Borough Council’s community safety officers.”

Crimes can be reported on 101.