A PICTURESQUE part of Evesham is becoming a "drinkers' haven", according to worried residents.

Concerned locals have complained about the condition of Workman Gardens, off Waterside, which they claim is becoming an eyesore and being "abused" by people drinking at all hours of the day.

There have also been reports of people urinating in bushes in the gardens.

Police say extra patrols have been carried out and found no more anti-social behaviour than would normally be expected.

But Robert Hall, from Evesham, told the Journal he believes alcohol should be banned in the area.

"The lovely Waterside gardens are being sadly abused by day time drinkers occupying many of the seats and often leaving much mess in the area," he said.

"I think this situation is very detrimental to our lovely town's image and leaves a negative impression to visitors.

"My four year old granddaughter has noticed the problem, so lets see some positive action to eradicate the problem."

Kevin Jones, of Fairwater Close, said a tourist he met told him the area was a "bad advert for Evesham"

"It is with shame I see the continuous decline in use of Workman Gardens to one of being haven for early morning and evening drinkers," he said.

Police, however, say there is more of a perceived problem than actual instances of anti-social behaviour.

Sgt Phil Stayte, of the Evesham Safer Neighbourhood Team, said officers dealt with only a small number of incidents during a two-week period of overt and covert patrols.

"It's become a bit of an issue that we thought we would spend some time looking into," he said. "We have found the anti-social behaviour down there is less than perceived. If we dedicated that kind of time somewhere else it would probably pick up the same issues.

"We don't see it as a hotbed of anti-social behaviour."

David Hemming, community safety manager at Wychavon, said: "We are aware that there are a couple of complaints regarding drinking in Workman Gardens.

"This is why we asked the police to monitor the gardens over a period of time, day and night. They found little evidence of anti-social behaviour but we will of course keep this under review."

Anyone who spots any instances of anti-social behaviour is asked to call the police on 101.