BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field is demanding answers about the "worryingly large" number of yobs being allowed to "force a life of misery and fear" on residents.

He has written to Wirral’s Chief Superintendent John Martin on behalf of householders who have reported instances of crime and anti-social behaviour "only to be left dismayed by an apparent lack of response."

 Chief Supt Martin told the Globe: “I want to reassure the public and Mr Field that we are as determined as they are to keep the area safe and free from any groups of youths thinking about acting in an anti-social  manner.”

Mr Field has been campaigning for a crackdown on crime in Birkenhead,  describing parts of the town as "the Beirut of the North."

Over the last 12 months he has held a series of meetings with top officials to try to devise an action plan.

In February, Wirral Council pledged to do more to curb growing incidents of anti-social behaviour across the borough by investing £365,000 into tackling the problems.

Police have introduced a series of public order "designated areas" which gives them special powers to prevent youths from congregating and if they persist, to arrest them.

But according to Mr Field, incidents need to be tackled with far greater urgency.

In his letter the MP writes: "My office has received a large and growing number of reports from local residents suffering the worst effects of crime and anti-social behaviour.

"A most worrying thread running throughout these reports is the disappointment and at times anger local residents feel at the way their cases have been handled by the authorities."

Among incidents outlined in the letter are: A resident who waited twice as long as they should have done for an emergency response to violent anti-social behaviour. By the time officers had arrived the offender had escaped and could not be identified.

Householders’ distress at failure to address ongoing drug-dealing in broad daylight, and with children playing nearby in Birkenhead Park.

Residents’ fury at the inability to chase, catch and identify those responsible for a spate of motorbike thefts.

A mum was forced to leave Birkenhead because of the threatening behaviour of a motorcyclist who raced towards the pavement where her young son was standing.

Mr Field's letter concludes: "Might I ask whether your force, along with colleagues at the local authority, could act upon this evidence so that more decent citizens aren’t forced to lead a life of misery and fear?

"What immediate steps might the authorities take please to initiate as rapid a response as possible to reports of crime and antisocial behaviour across Birkenhead?"

Chief Supt Martin said: “I have received a letter from Frank Field MP and will reply to his concerns and the concerns of people in Birkenhead. 

“It is in the interests of the community in Birkenhead for Merseyside Police, the local authority, Mr Field and other partners to discuss the challenges we face and I have met Mr Field many times to discuss those issues.

"I look forward to discussing any further problems with anti-social behaviour raised by his constituents.

"As a result of issues identified in Birkenhead we have already put additional resources into the area, and we continue to monitor the situation. 

“We continue to work with our partners and the numbers of reports of anti-social behaviour continues to fall.

"While some of the incidents Mr Field mentions have already been dealt with and the complainants spoken to, we are aware there are vulnerable victims out there and we will do all we can to tackle any issues of anti-social behaviour reported to us.

“I want to reassure the public and Mr Field that we are as determined as they are to keep the area safe and free from any groups of youths thinking about acting in an anti-social  manner.”