Folk from a Northampton district have vowed to claim back their area from petty criminals and fight what they have labelled 'broken window' syndrome in their main street.
Over 50 frustrated residents met at Kingsley Park Methodist Church, in Kingsley Park Terrace, Northampton, to voice concerns for their area at a 'safer communities meeting' on May 11.
They have pledged to form a neighbourhood watch to help clean up their area and bring their views to Northampton Borough Council.
Trevor Marshall, 51, a Kingsley resident, said: "We're tired of the general dirtiness in Kingsley and seeing anti-social crime in our area, from dog fouling to drug dealing.
"This should be a thriving shopping area like Kingsthorpe or Wellingborough Road, but seven or eight of our shops on our main street, Kingsley Park Terrace, are shut. It's just not attractive.
"Kingsley should be more proud of itself."
Complaints raised across the evening included a lack of police presence in the area, that cars were regularly broken into and that dirty needles and human faeces could be found in back alleys and behind shops.
They also said that lighting was poor, which made Kingsley Park Terrace 'frightening' at night, and that nothing was being done to save the local Co-Op supermarket from closing in June.
One resident, Sandra Carpendale, said: "The store is a community place and a lot of older people are very upset.
"No one will say why the Co-Op is really closing. We all know it's because of the constant shoplifting and that Co-Op will not hire a security guard for the store."
Councillor Catherine Russell, who organised the meeting, has now offered to lead the creation of a neighbourhood watch for the Kingsley area.
She said: "I think tonight was an outlet for people's frustration. When people start thinking that an area has become run down then they also start not to care. It's like a 'broken window' syndrome.
"I plan to set up and develop a neighbourhood watch for Kingsley and keep in contact with these residents to let them know what we are doing."
Councillor Russell said she planned to hold the next meeting 'in July'.