Berkshire

Police criticised over Reading trouble-spot

Police have been accused of not doing enough to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in a problem area of Reading.

Residents around Oxford Road said the area was used by drug users and had people behaving aggressively and urinating in public after drinking.

Police said they had carried out a number of operations, including clamping down on prostitution.

Insp Graham Markham, of Thames Valley Police, denied the force had "failed" and promised action.

Steve Lodge, who lives in Russell Street just off Oxford Road, said: "I have been standing at the bus stop and been accosted and asked for money on many occasions.

"I have seen people urinate up against a church.

"I want more done to see this place cleaned up."

'Big problem'

Another resident, who only wanted to giver her first name as Denise, said: "It is like running the gauntlet every day.

"You have to get through all the beggars, then the drunks and finally the drug addicts at the end.

"I have been chased a number of times, I've had to go to court about someone, it is quite a big problem now."

Insp Markham said: "There is obviously still pockets of problems in the Oxford Road area

"I don't think we have failed, there are parts which are pretty clear now.

"But the work we have done has displaced a number of these people to the edge of the town.

"We need people to report any incident they have experienced so we can put our resources where they are needed."

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