Sherborne Road, Queen’s Road and the recreation ground have been targeted by yobs who regularly vandalise homes and gardens.

Local councillor John Starling said: “It’s shocking. When I knock on people’s doors to speak to them about local issues they won’t open it at first; they go to the upstairs windows to see who it is.

“There have been incidents where these youths judo kick at their doors. This type of antisocial behaviour is regularly happening to people who live on these roads.”

These under-18s regularly drink alcohol on the recreation ground, littering the children’s play area with bottles and litter before going on to terrorise residents.

Plain clothes police have been working to stop them buying alcohol at off licences.

Sgt Darren Murphy said: “One off-licence near to the area has been warned that we know it has been selling alcohol to under-18s.

“There are groups of more than 20 youths hanging out at the recreation ground and at times there has been more than 40.

“With them comes a lot of drinking alcohol, shouting, swearing and dropping litter, and we have had many complaints from local residents.”

Sherborne Road in particular has been targeted by thugs throwing eggs and bottles at specific houses, but so far no-one has been caught for what the police believe is malicious crime.

Sgt Murphy said: “This is long-term harassment and when we catch them they will be charged.

“We are operating a zero tolerance policy on this area to deal with the constant abuse that the residents face.

“We have been targeting these youths since January but more issues have come to light over the last few weeks.

“We’ve arrested two youths already for drink-related offences and another three have been taken back to their parents.

“Letters are also being sent out to them to highlight these issues.”

The police are constantly patrolling the area, particularly at weekends, and have been helped by the youth service, park rangers who have cleared broken bottles from the playground, and the CCTV cameras in Camp Road.

Sgt Murphy said: “We are aware of what is happening and these antisocial problems are being tackled.”