RESIDENTS on a Bridgwater housing estate are calling on the authorities to step in and address the ‘out of hand’ drugs problem.

The frustrated parents have spoken of their frustration after numerous incidents of drug dealing and taking have been witnessed on the estate near the River Parrett.

They are calling on the local authorities and residents to work together to try and combat the problem.

Emma Porter, who lives in Riversmead Walk, said the problem had particularly increased in the last year.

She said: “Put simply, we are fed up of people dealing and taking drugs on this estate.

“My partner and I have lived here for five years and it has been gradually getting worse, especially in this last year.”

Ms Porter said the residents’ main concern is for the safety of the children living on the estate. “People have been seen dealing in broad daylight and people go around smoking weed like it is legal and acceptable,” she said.

“One Friday night we found a drugs needle thrown like a dart into a community bin, near an area where children tend to play. It was not cleared for 24 hours.

“Another time some of the children witnessed a drug addict injecting in broad daylight and throwing the needle into the canal.”

The frustrated residents say they would like to see a co-ordinated team effort by the police, Yarlington Housing Group, residents and local authorities to combat the issue.

“We need the police to step up but we know how stretched they are,” Ms Porter said.

“It would help if the area was better maintained, then people might take more pride in the where they live.”

Ms Porter believes a safe playground being provided for children to play in nearby would address some of the issues.

She is campaigning for an ‘eyesore’ piece of unused land near La Ciotat House to be converted into a playground for the children along Rivermead Walk, La Ciotat House and Turner Close.

“At the moment the nearest play park is Cranleigh Gardens,” Ms Porter said.

“The children around here have been known to resort to playing between cars and playing football in the street which is very dangerous.

“The land is just sitting there as it has been unable to be developed due to historical contamination, but we are hoping changes in planning laws will mean it can now be built on for the benefit of the community.”

Avon and Somerset Police said issues were being created by 'county lines' in the area.

A spokesperson said: "Officers recently executed a warrant at an address and discovered cocaine, heroin and cannabis, and a 27-year-old man was arrested.

"These operations often stem from intelligence provided by members of the public and we’d urge anyone in the community who has any information about drug-dealing to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111."

Yarlington Housing Group say it does not tolerate people taking drugs on its land.

A spokesman for Yarlington Housing Group said:“Yarlington takes the issue of drugs extremely seriously and does not tolerate them whatsoever. 

“We are working with the community and police to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and are keen to hear from members of the community if they have any concerns that this is taking place in any of our properties.

"We also encourage anyone who sees this activity to contact the police immediately.”