EAST Oswestry Community Group is expecting a very vocal meeting at the end of the month after a rise in anti-social behaviour recently.

Members of the group started holding monthly meetings towards the end of last year to bring to attention some of the issues in the area.

According to residents, there has been an increase in the number of anti-social behaviour incidents in the past few months.

A neighbourhood watch group was set up in East Oswestry by Kerry Davies – one of the three directors of the Community Centre.

Fellow directors Kim Owen and Claire Arnold have helped to set up the meetings.

Claire has lived in the area for 14 years and believes the incidents have been occurring more often in recent months.

“There is a lot of upset in the area at the moment,” she said. “There are a lot of people in the area who feel as though not enough is being done.

“So with these meetings, we’re not looking for people to get frustrated with the police or individuals, but instead we’re trying to open everyone’s eyes and work together to report everything that is going on to eventually put a stop to it.

“I’ve lived here for 14 years now, I think I’ve personally become more aware of the goings on in more recent times.

“Up until about four months ago, I was completely unaware that the number of incidents occurring were as high as there are – and it’s right on the doorstep.

“Now I hear about it more often it shows how big of an issue there is and it makes you realise something needs to be done.

“My husband’s Oswestry born and bred, and he thinks that the area has got worse over the past year to 18 months.”

Many Shropshire and Oswestry councillors have raised their concerns over the issues and are trying their best to help.

Shropshire councillor for Oswestry East Clare Aspinall, said: “There has been an escalation across town of incidents like these, not just in east Oswestry.

“There was a town meeting after our last meeting at the East Oswestry Community Centre where the possibility of getting Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion to come along and sit in on one of the meetings.

“The police are doing a great job, but their hands are tied in terms of dealing with these incidents across a vast area – I have nothing but praise for the police here covering the area that they do.

“Oswestry is a big town and it really does need a greater presence.

“Unfortunately, it’s not down to us as local councillors, it’s something that is decided on by central government which is out of our hands completely.

“All we can do is lobby against the cuts and decisions that we don’t like and hope that we are noticed.

“I understand areas like Oswestry aren’t as well funded as cities and larger towns, but some of the issues here still require attention as much as issues in bigger areas – some issues affect rural areas in other ways to issues affecting cities, but they still need addressing.”

Cllr Aspinall added that there will be a mobile CCTV camera put in place in the area to help monitor the situation.

“A mobile CCTV camera will be going up by the Cabin Lane shops area where a lot of reports of these incidents have been situated.

“We don’t at all want to encourage any form of vigilante response to the incidents, we just want to highlight to everyone what is happening in order to give us more chance of tackling the problem.”

Safer Neighbourhood Inspector Tracy Ryan said: “We’re aware of minor issues with anti-social behaviour and have been working closely with Neighbourhood Watch and local schools to identify those responsible and speak to pupils about the impact this kind of behaviour has on the local community.

“We would encourage anyone who is concerned or has information about those who may be responsible to contact the safer neighbourhood team.”