STREET urination, drunken brawls, littering and crowds are making residents at Weymouth harbour feel 'trapped in their homes.'

Crowds of drinkers gathering at Custom House Quay - and the mess left behind - have been captured on film by residents, who are demanding action from authorities to deal with the situation.

Dorset Echo:

Over the Easter weekend 'hundreds' were gathered on the harbourside - and, as previously reported, four men were arrested following a street brawl on Easter Sunday that left two victims needing hospital treatment for injuries.

Residents are calling for street drinking laws to be enforced and for covid marshals to patrol after 9pm.

Dorset Echo:

Kevin Lay who lives at Helen Lane, off Custom House Quay, said: "It's so frustrating - it feels like a losing battle. People are urinating on our doorstep - men and women of all ages - around 20 times a night.

"Last week I looked out of the window and there was a girl urinating on our car - I came outside and she started screaming at me in the street: 'what do you expect if you live in town?'

"We see people openly dealing drugs in the street on a regular basis. We feel let down by the police and council - the police drive past huge crowds and seem to turn a blind eye to the lack of social distancing.

"It's horrible - you just dread coming out of the house - we feel trapped in our own home."

Another resident who asked not to be named said: "Last year was a nightmare and already the level of drunken behaviour is worse than before."

Dorset Echo:

Meanwhile a residents' group, 'Respect Weymouth' has been formed to demand action.

READ MORE: HARBOUR SHAME - Residents' group demands 'Respect'

A spokesman for the group said: "At the start of the week leading up to the Bank Holiday, public toilets were closed daily at 6pm.

"In three hours, residents had to endure over 60 toileting events against private property in one road alone.

"The vision for the harbour feels great, but it is fast turning it into an intimidating, no-go area."

Dorset councillor Louie O'Leary met with residents on Good Friday and said he counted around 200 drinkers on the quayside.

He said: "People were huddled in large groups, with beer cans and bottles all along the floor; bins were overflowing and glass smashed along the road. Boats were being climbed on and thing thrown onto them.

Dorset Echo:

"I have always been against promoting more drinking on the quay, whether it is off licence drinking like we are seeing now, or pub drinking - but if this is a permanent feature then it won't be good for pubs, residents, or commercial boat owners. We need action and enforcement."

No ban on alcohol

In response, Neighbourhood Inspector David Parr, of Weymouth and Portland police, said: “We are aware of reports of anti-social behaviour in the area of Weymouth harbour.

“Officers will be carrying out high-visibility patrols over the coming months and will target anyone who is involved with anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder. 

Dorset Echo:

“At present there is no ban on consuming alcohol in public, but action can be taken under the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) that covers much of the town centre area if a person’s behaviour has or is likely to cause anti-social behaviour. 

“Dispersal notices can also be issued in areas where the impact of anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder is most acute. Failure to comply with the dispersal notices may lead to arrest and prosecution. 

“Persistent anti-social behaviour offenders will be targeted with an escalating programme of enforcement that may lead to a criminal behaviour order (CBO) being issued against them. A CBO can last for several years and any breach could result in a fine or imprisonment. 

“We fully recognise the impact this kind of behaviour has on those who live and work in our town and we are committed to working with our partners to deal with any issues in both the short and long term via a range of strategies.

“As Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease, we would like to remind everyone to keep sticking to the rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe. If an area looks too busy, please find somewhere else to go.

“The police can only enforce the Covid-19 regulations as set out in the existing legislation. Social distancing is not law, but guidance and the Government is asking people to act responsibly and follow this guidance as we continue through the roadmap changes.”

'Pub toilets should help,' says council

A Dorset Council spokesman said: “We are aware of ongoing issues involving anti-social behaviour around the harbour area of Weymouth.

"The issues raised about toilets should have been resolved now by Weymouth Town Council, which has extended the opening hours of its public toilets. As pubs and restaurants open on April 12, we envisage the demand for public toilets will significantly decrease.

"We are committed to working with our partners in Dorset Police throughout the summer.”