A man has said he fears for the safety of children and family pets after spotting a number of rats near his home.

Paul Froicu, from Stanmore, claims to have seen 40 to 50 rodents scurrying around Brick Lane, just off Honeypot Lane.

He said part of the issue stems from two rubbish-filled bins – one of which is without a lid – which have given them somewhere to nest.

Environmental Compliance Officers said they have assessed the area and dealt with any overflowing waste which could attract rats and insects.

And Cllr Graham Henson, responsible for the environment at Harrow Council, said his team intends to fix the problem with the lid.

But Paul is unconvinced, and believes his complaint has simply been brushed aside.

“They have cleared the rubbish but they have checked the wrong area. When I came back from a walk there was another dead rat [near the bins],” he said.

“I have to carry my dog when I am there to avoid any infestation and there are kids playing on the grass nearby. This is something that is very serious.”

He added that the holes dug by the rats have the potential to damage the flats in Willow Court and that he is not the first person to raise this issue with the relevant authorities.

“The situation is out of hand. My partner comes home crying every evening and you can see that everyone is frightened to walk around,” he said.

In a statement, Cllr Henson reiterated how it is vital that people report issues relating to rats and fly-tipping to the council so it can assess how best to resolve the problem.

He said: “We are working with the landlord to have the bin replaced. We encourage everyone to continue to report all environmental issues on public land – including any rodent infestation – through our website. If it’s on private land, our pest control service can help.”