RESIDENTS say they are being plagued by anti-social behaviour and are ‘frightened in their own homes’ after a rise in drug dealing in the area.

Friars Wharf, next to the River Thames, has seen more people coming to the area to use and deal drugs, according to people who live nearby.

They say they are being made to feel more unsafe because of Oxford City Council’s failure to perform essential maintenance including fixing broken security doors.

One resident, Sharon Norris, said people are able to get in to the blocks of flats through holes in fences, broken doors or by following residents in.

Drug paraphernalia has been found discarded outside the front doors of residents, many of whom are elderly or have young children.

Further incidents have included cars being torched and bags being taken.

Ms Norris said: “I reported the front door was broken last week and it still hasn’t been fixed.

“It’s an ongoing issue with the magnets that don’t work in extreme weather.

"On one occasion the door wasn't fixed for up to a month and anyone could get in.

“We are told it is not a priority but it’s these small things that are making the problems so much worse."

Fellow resident Geraldine Herbert-Brown has lived in the area for nearly ten years.

She said she has found needles and syringes on the floor near her flat.

The retired academic owns the flat but pays the council for maintenance and said that ‘repeated requests to maintain the building to a decent standard’ have not been answered.

The retired academic added: “We want the council to tighten security but have received no response.

“Tenants, particularly the elderly and infirm, are frightened in their own homes.”

Ms Norris, a freelance writer who lives alone, said she has seen drug dealing happening out in the open on the estate.

Homeless people have also been seeking refuge in the landings and hallways of the flats.

She said: “We all are pretty angry and unhappy at the moment.

“It is making everyone feel quite on edge, we keep seeing more and more issues.

"You never know what you will come home to.”

Thames Valley Police and the council announced a series of measures last week aimed at stopping drug dealing and reassuring residents.

Officers have been carrying out a series of high visibility patrols that aim to disrupt offending.

At known problem areas further measures will be taken including improving lighting, installing CCTV and cutting back foliage.

Chief Inspector Marc Tarbit, deputy Local Policing Area commander for Oxford, said: "We want to make Oxford a hostile place for drug dealers.”

Council spokesman Tom Jennings said: “We have been aware of anti-social behaviour in the Friar’s Wharf area and have been carrying out work with the police around that.

"We are committed to tackling ant-social behaviour across Oxford and encourage residents with concerns to report them – they do get logged and they do get actioned.”