A park has been "left to mob rule" and is not being policed properly, residents have claimed.

A number of those living near Kings Road park in Halstead complained to police and crime commissioner Roger Hirst about anti-social behaviour ruining their quality of life during a public meeting.

One resident, who chose to remain anonymous, said: "It's getting worse every summer.

"Every year we've had groups of teenagers going over to the park with bottles of beer in their hands.

"You can see the plastic containers they are carrying are full to the brim with marijuana.

"They know full well they can get away with it with no police around."

Another resident, speaking the meeting at Queen’s Hall, Halstead, said: "It's almost as if Kings Road is now lawless.

"People living here are in fear and are too afraid to walk their dogs through the park.

"There is a mother who lives near me.

"She is too afraid to take her children to the park, and it just shows the lack of policing there.

"They know the police just won't turn up because the nearest one is over 20 minutes away."

Mr Hirst agreed it was unacceptable and promised Essex Police would look into the problem.

But he denied it was the closure of the police station which was to blame.

He told residents: "I completely sympathise with what you are saying.

"A park for the whole community really shouldn't be like this.

"However, closing the police station would not have made any difference.

"Where police stations have closed elsewhere across the country, crime has stayed the same.

"To suggest it is the closure of the police station which has done this is not true.

"However, I understand your concerns and we will deal with this straight away.

"Braintree District has a community safety partnership, which we will use to initiate an action plan to work with the community."