ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour and drug abuse have been identified by villagers in Frampton Cotterell and Westerleigh as their main priorities to be tackled.

Residents told a newly formed Safer Stronger Community Group made up of police, health bosses and councillors that they were most concerned about drug taking and teenage disturbances in their villages.

They voted for police to prioritise on tackling those problems above other highlighted issues such as parking, speeding and road lay-outs.

The meeting was the first of a new police-led initiative linking various community services to tackle crime and community issues.

South Gloucestershire and Frampton Cotterell parish Cllr Dave Hockey said: "We have some real big problems in our area with young people going out and taking drugs.

"In Crossbow Park the play field caretaker is picking up hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of empty drug packets every month.

"While down near Nightingale Bridge I often see young people blatantly under the influence of drugs, with their noses running and their eyes all over the place. It is not a pleasant sight."

The group was also told of regular glue-sniffing hot spots in Frampton Cotterell and of a drug van which ran 'a delivery round' of the area on Friday and Saturday nights.

Residents at the meeting voted for tackling speeding in Westerleigh Road as a second priority and introducing a weight restriction in Westerleigh as a third.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Andrew McIlrath said the community's concerns had been taken on board.

He said: "In response to concerns over drug use we are to commit further resources to highlighted areas, carry out drug searches and possibly set an operation in the area to identify dealers.

"The meeting is the start of what we hope to be a successful initiative, giving people a say about what we do in policing terms and other services.

The group's next meeting will be at Westerleigh village hall on January 8.