ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour is becoming a 'concerning and noticeable' problem in Dorchester.

Since the beginning of February there have been nine reported incidents around the library on Charles Street.

The issue was raised at the meeting of the Dorchester BID last month with a call for more to be done to tackle the issue.

Inspector Mike Darby, of Dorchester police, said: “Officers in Dorchester are aware of an increasing trend for young people to gather in town and cause significant anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the town centre, which is impacting on the businesses there including the library.

“This behaviour is intimidating for the staff and people using the venue and Dorchester neighbourhood policing team is working very closely with the library and other venues that are being impacted by these youths."

He added: “I am issuing a Section 35 notice on a daily basis that allows police to lawfully ban anyone from Dorchester town centre whom we find committing anti-social behaviour and should that person return to the town centre prior to their ban ending then they will be arrested and prosecuted.

“We are not going to tolerate this behaviour, which has a significant impact on our town.”

One concerned Dorchester resident contacted the Echo about the problem.

She said: "It has become very noticeable in the last six weeks or so.

"Every day there seems to be problems and it is very unsettling.

"Something needs to be done to move these people on.

"The library is definitely a 'hot spot' where a lot of problems are happening. It puts you off wanting to go into the library and what good is that.

"It's a horrible feeling. We shouldn't be feeling intimidated by this."

District and town councillor, David Taylor, said it was a "very noticeable" problem in the town.

He said: "There is a serious problem here.

"It is just not what Dorchester is all about and it is bringing down the town, its businesses and its reputation.

"We are all doing a lot of good work for our county town but we will not tolerate this behaviour.

"People are going out of their way to make trouble and the police have been called on numerous occasions.

"I would urge people to report this to police via 101, the more it gets reported, the more officers are aware and can prioritise the problem."