EASTLEIGH residents have called on the council to tackle anti-social behaviour after gangs of teens armed with knives, baseball bats and screwdrivers “swarmed” a children’s play park.

Police rushed to Grantham Green in Eastleigh following reports of “around 30 teenagers fighting”.

Officers stopped and searched a number of young people in the area following the “horrific” incident on Tuesday afternoon.

During a search of the area, police officers found a screwdriver, mountain bike, baseball bat, tennis racket, kitchen knife and metal bar.

Residents have since come forward blaming an increase in anti-social behaviour on mounds, rock features and long grass in the park where youths can “hide and take drugs”.

One mother reported often feeling threatened and intimidated while walking through the green space with her children.

According to the council, the mounds were installed as part of improvements to Grantham Green including a play area, multi-use games area and climbing wall.

An Eastleigh resident who wished to remain unnamed said: “The mounds and rock feature have worsened the problem of anti-social behaviour as the perpetrators have a covered area to hide and get up to trouble.

“I want the council to remove the rock feature and mounds. It really is of no good to anyone.”

Resident, Sophie Bench, 33, said: “The council needs to get rid of the shelter in the park where teens gather. My young daughter found a bag of drugs there one time and asked me what it was. I do not let my kids go out there alone.”

A council spokesperson said: “The council takes the issue of anti-social behaviour very seriously. We would encourage anyone who has any information about the incident to contact the police as soon as possible. This has been reported as a very serious incident and we hope the police will increase their presence and visibility in the area and apprehend those responsible.”

A Parnell Road resident, who witnessed the incident said: “I saw a swarm of kids running over the mounds. There were two groups of teenagers chasing each other around. They had baseball bats and long metal poles. They were screaming and swearing. I saw everyone scoop their children up and run away. A lot of people were shaken up.”

According to police anyone found to be carrying weapons “will be dealt with robustly”

No one was reported as injured during the incident.

Anyone with any information is urged to call police on 101 quoting crime reference 44190332199.