RESIDENTS near an Eastleigh secondary school say they are being terrorised by pupils.

Alderman Quilley School, in Cherbourg Road, is at the centre of controversey.

One resident of nearby Goldsmith Road is taking action by rallying neighbours to sign a petition against the yobs.

William Newstead said a minority of pupils were giving the school a bad name.

"Residents are living in fear of the abusive and threatening behaviour of some of the pupils," said Mr Newstead.

"I walk my younger children to the primary school near us and they just block the pavement shouting obscenities."

Mr Newstead said neighbours to the school often faced pupils jumping through hedges, littering gardens, knocking over bins and damaging cars.

Another resident, Mr Nigel Plowman, said: "They think they are untouchable. They use abusive language and intimidating behaviour because they know they can get away with it."

"People are afraid to come forward because if they do they are likely to have their cars vandalised and tyres slashed."

Richard Kelly, head of the school since last September, said he was aware of the problem.

"We do know there is a problem for local residents, and since January we have been taking steps to prevent them, with a proactive response."

The school has 670 pupils aged 11 to 16, and is on a site that rubs shoulders with Eastleigh College and the Barton Peveril College in Chestnut Avenue.

Mr Kelly said that the school had more staff in the playground and on the gates of the school to monitor pupils.

"We do take complaints from nearby residents seriously and we have already been working with parents to punish those pupils who disrupt our neighbours during school time."

Mr Kelly said he had recently received letters from residents saying the neighbourhood is getting better, but agreed more needed to be done. He advised residents to contact the school if they had problems with pupils around school time and said they should also report any acts of vandalism to the police.