RESIDENTS on a Hanworth estate have been subjected to abuse, intimidation and vandalism since gangs put a CCTV camera out of action.
Police have recorded a 'dramatic rise' in anti-social behaviour on the Butts Farm estate as groups of up to 40 youths have been free to cause trouble in the area.
The CCTV camera in Saxon Avenue was removed for repairs after being damaged earlier this year and was reinstalled two weeks ago, but residents say troublemakers as young as eight have become used to having their own way.
A mother-of-four, who lives in Norman House in Saxon Avenue but did not want to be named, said the area had become a 'no-go' after dark.
She added: "Ever since they broke that camera it's been back to the old days. There's just no respect and you've got no idea how far they'll go.
"It's so intimidating and, even though the camera's back up and the police seem to be around a little bit more, these kids are running around like they own the place."
A man in his 80s added: "It's unbelievable how young some of these nuisances are. When I was their age I was still in short trousers, but they are standing around there drinking, smoking and doing drugs. It's not right."
Police safer neighbourhood teams have increased patrols on the estate, used plain clothes officers, conducted stop and searches and drawn up Acceptable Behaviour Contracts with the worst offenders, while Hounslow Youth Services will also be starting regular patrols within the next two weeks.
A spokesman for Richmond Housing Partnership, which manages the estate, said it is working with the safer neighbourhood teams and Hounslow Youth Services to tackle the problem.