DRUG dealing around the village hall and youth 'doing donuts' on the playing fields have prompted an angry reponse from exasperated residents.

Homeowners in Hanborough, near Witney, have reported broken play equipment and drug dealing as well as cars driving recklessly around fields.

The 'intimidating' behaviour has caused concern since last summer and the Hanborough Playing Fields Association (HPFA) is set to install CCTV in the area, while the neighbourhood policing team has pledged to increase patrols.

Steve Nicholls, chair of the HPFA, believes CCTV is necessary to put residents' minds at ease.

He said: "There's a very strong feeling in the village that something needs to be done.

"If you're not doing something criminal then you don't need to be worried about being filmed.

"The footage will only be used to prosecute and help take action to quash it."

The antisocial behaviour began shortly after the children's play park was moved to another part of the grounds, called The Pit, as part of a deal to extend Hanborough Manor C of E school.

The Pit is next to the village skate park, which is popular with older children.

Mr Nicholls admitted the move 'pushed' older children away from the skate park, but believes it does not excuse the recent spate of incidents.

He revealed vehicles were using the playing fields as 'skid pans', which was ruining the grass.

Villagers have also noticed an increase in cars using the area as a 'late night rendezvous point', while parents are worried about their children's safety following the reports of drug dealing.

Mr Nicholls said: "These are all caused by a lack of respect for the facilities.

"Some people in the vicinity have been very intimidated by them."

HPFA and Hanborough Parish Council have teamed up and agreed a two-pronged approach to combat the problem.

The CCTV system comprises phase one and will be installed with the aim of deterring and recording criminal activity.

This costs £1,000 and will be funded by Liam Walker, Oxfordshire County Councillor for Hanborough and Minster Lovell, who is paying through his Councillor Priority Fund.

Mr Walker is waiting to get approval from the county council, but expects the funding to be 'sorted in the next few weeks'.

Phase two of the plan is clearing out the overgrown area behind the pavilion, which has become a popular haunt for young people.

A working party is aiming to complete this within the next few months, but Mr Nicholls insisted the sole purpose was not just 'making it harder to hang out there'.

He said: "We get a wide range of people using the facilities here, from pre-school youngsters to after school and youth clubs.

"There's a huge difference in catering for youth that are eight or nine and those who are 18 or 19 - their needs are totally different.

"It's a huge challenge but something that can't be ignored."

The playing fields' football and cricket pitches have also been affected by dog walkers failing to clean up their pets' mess.

Hanborough FC are currently top of the Oxfordshire Senior League Division One after winning the Witney and District Premier Division last season.

But Mr Nicholls revealed the problem was an unwelcome distraction from their good form on the pitch.

He said: "We're playing at a higher level now and it's completely unacceptable to have to stop a football match to clean up dog mess."