RESIDENTS in a Greenock town centre close say anti-social behaviour is making their lives a misery.

People living in a block of flats on Sir Michael Street have pleaded with River Clyde Homes for help amid a relentless series of late-night gatherings in one of the flats.

Fred Hawke and neighbour Marie Campbell say the noise and disruption means it is impossible to get any any sleep.

The shattered residents told the Tele that they hear people forcing their way into the close, 'shouting and screaming' at all hours and running up and down the stairs.

Marie, 58, who lives with her sister Morag, 69, says she saw a group of around 12 people one night and is concerned that some were using drugs.

Marie said: "I really don't know how much longer we can live like this.

"I can't sleep at night.

"Every time I start to fall asleep I hear them up and down the stairs.

"It's been particularly bad over the last two months.

"People are up shouting and bawling and arguing at all hours."

Marie's neighbour Fred Hawke, 74, says that he and his wife Valentina, 65, are becoming increasingly distressed by the situation.

Fred said: "It's constant but gets even worse at weekends.

"People are up and down the stairs all night.

"We can't live like this.

"Valentina is becoming really stressed and it's driving us mad."

In the early hours of Friday morning, Fred reported the latest round of anti-social behaviour to River Clyde Homes and the police in a series of phone calls between 12.37am and 2.14am.

Marie is in regular contact with the housing association, the police and Inverclyde Council's community wardens service, and has also been in touch with her local councillor Jim Clocherty.

While River Clyde Homes, the police and wardens have visited the building, Marie has been told there's 'not enough evidence' for them to step in at this stage.

She fears that the authorities won't take action until something terrible happens.

Marie said: "I'm really scared and worried. I feel like something really bad will have to happen before River Clyde Homes will do anything about it."

Fred added: "We're happy that the police, community wardens and River Clyde Homes have been out and we know we're doing what they can.

"We didn't sleep at all last Thursday night.

"On Friday morning, my wife went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, dropped a cup, and when I found her she was standing there shaking.

"The stress is not doing us any good."

Elaine Cannon, service improvement manager at River Clyde Homes, says the housing association treats all reports of anti-social behaviour extremely seriously.

Ms Cannon said: "Our priority is to ensure our neighbourhoods are safe places to live and we will always support someone who comes forward to report this kind of behaviour.

"We are aware of reports of anti-social behaviour within this block and are investigating these in line with our anti-social behaviour policy. We are also liaising with Police Scotland and the community wardens service.

"We would encourage tenants to continue to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour and they can do so in confidence, at any time of the day or night."

An Inverclyde Council spokesperson said: "Complaints about anti-social behaviour are taken seriously and will always be investigated.

"We work with our partners at Police Scotland and housing associations to investigate allegations of anti-social behaviour and take appropriate action where possible.

"Community wardens will also increase patrols of areas where anti-social behaviour has been reported to support residents.

"Our community wardens are operational seven days a week and the council’s social protection team is also on hand to provide dedicated support."