A young girl is heading-up a campaign for metal gates to stop drug users and thieves frequenting an alleyway in Caversham.

Eight-year-old Emily Knight delighted councillors when she submitted a petition with her father, Paul, calling for better security at the alleyway, which runs along the back of their road, getreading.co.uk reports.

After putting her case forward the youngster received a round of applause from Reading Borough Council chiefs.

Mr Knight said that discarded needles, stolen handbags and purses and dog mess had been found in the alley.

He added that it attracted "cigarette smoking and noisy teenagers”, the newspaper reported.

"A lot of my friends live on these roads. We would love it if we could play safely along our back path," Emily was quoted as telling councillors.

However, because one resident objected to the installation of security gates at the alley, funding for the project had to be turned down.

But councillor Jeanette Skeats urged the pair to go back and convince their neighbours to agree to the gate.

Instances of gates going to combat problem behaviour have proved successful. A recent example is in Chester, where metal gates were installed at the request of residents concerned about the level of crime and nuisance in their area.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800439076-ADNFCR