Drug use and "intimidating behaviour" is on the rise in Helston and has even led to some children being taken to hospital.

This was the warning over Coronation Park as town councillors met to discuss a way to resolve the problems.

It followed a report from the South Kerrier Alliance (SKA), which now owns the lease for the park including the boating lake, skatepark and Old Cattle Market building.

Sarah Pellow, who is the contact for the community interest company, based at the park, said that since the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, the park had been seeing "a significant number of young people congregating" around the skate park and on the Old Cattle Market steps.

She wrote: "With no school for most of them, now through to September, the park is becoming the place to hang out.

"Unfortunately this has generated huge levels of littering as well as an increasing prevalence of anti-social behaviour. Complaints have been received from the public and building tenants – including the users of the Adult Care and Support service, as well as the commercial tenants – of intimidating behaviour.

"Also, definite evidence of low-level drug use has been found.

Read next: Tents abandoned and 140 campervans moved on from Cornwall beauty spots

"Issues are mainly with teenagers. We have CCTV footage which identifies a number of the main offenders and have involved the police and PCSO who have been helpful – their response is always good – but they are unable to be there very often.

"The issue is worse in the afternoon and into the evening, and our own attempts at engaging with the young people have seen little to no results.

"The Old Cattle Market steps are sheltered from the rain and sun, so this is an issue whatever the weather."

As such, the SKA now wants to bring two youth workers to the park over eight weeks, starting on August 1 and running until the end of September.

"We feel that by introducing some positive activating on a regular basis we could provide some structure for these young people when they are currently suffering from a lack of structure in their lives," said Sarah, who added that the Furry Youth Café in Meneage Street, which usually supported young people in the town, had not reopened since lockdown was introduced in March.

Falmouth Packet:

The problems are said to centre around the skatepark and Old Cattle Market building

"Clearly some of them are in significant need of support."

The youth workers would hold planned sessions of activities, different each time, designed to disperse anti-social behaviour and help educate the young people, as well as encourage them to stick to Covid-19 guidance, based around skatepark as the place where they were naturally congregating.

They would also be encouraged to use the youth café after it reopened.

The SKA was therefore asking the town council to give £1,000 to help fund the project, which was calculated to cost a total of £2,269.44 overall.

This included the two youth workers being paid £12.19 per hour each, for a total of 12 hours each week, along with petrol allowance of 45p per mile.

Costs to cover overheads were calculated to be an additional £5.20 each, making a total cost of £208.68 per week.

Any equipment bought to use in sessions will then be made available to use afterwards.

SKA will be putting in £269.44, with a total of £500 confirmed from Cornwall councillor John Martin from the Coastline Covid Fund and his council community chest fund , as well as £250 each from Helston’s other Cornwall councillors Mike Thomas and Andrew Wallis using their community chest money - although Mr Thomas said he may raise his donation.

Read next: Police in Cornwall 'will not respond to calls concerning face masks'

Councillor Rev Danny Reed agreed there was a particular problem at the boating lake currently, saying: "It is, according to people I've spoken to, getting out of hand. They are getting involved in substances they shouldn't be, and a huge amount of violent behaviour, to the point where some children have to go home and get taken to hospital."

Councillor Tim Grattan-Kane said he was also aware of drugs being sold and problems be caused in the nearby supermarket.

The town council agreed to in fact give £1,250, after councillor Brendan Thomas suggested being "more generous" and councillor John Boase proposed the new amount.

The money will come from the emergency funding linked to Covid-19 if allowed, or if not out of general reserves, as the council did not want to use its grants budget out of sync with its twice-yearly grants meetings and potentially disadvantage other applicants.

Councillor Ron Edgcumbe also said it was important not to "pigeon hole young people", adding: "In the last few weeks I've seen five or six incidents of really aggressive behaviour, not all from young people. People bashing cars with walking sticks."