Residents in Ramsgate’s Addington Street are calling for action, saying their lives are being blighted by drug dealing and antisocial behaviour related to a property in the street.
They say complaints of overpowering heroin fumes, a string of addicts coming in and out, intimidation and suspected cuckooing of a young man who then died of a drugs overdose last year have still not resulted in the property being shut down.
One family who live in the street, but asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said the problems have been going on for five years.
The husband said: “For five years now our lives have been ruined by the property that was originally filled with addicts and dealers. It got so bad that the upper floor tenants asked to move and a family has complained of heroin fumes poisoning their children and they have asked to move.
“We reported everything, submitted videos, even warned East Kent Housing that a very young tenant was taking heroin and was being ‘cuckooed’ by London gangs.
“I, along with Ramsgate Councillor Becky Wing, warned EKH that the boy was in serious danger of death if there wasn’t some kind of intervention. Well, the boy died. The sight of his mother sitting shocked and weeping on the steps of that property will stay with me forever.
“EKH take no responsibility for their tenants at all, leaving them to run riot and deal with impunity. I even heard one tenant ask a resident “what they were doing on *his* street”.
“It is not up to us to police the tenants put here and they know they can do what they want and there is just no comeback.
“Everyone deserves a place to live but it is then down to how you act in the community. The noise is terrible and the constant drug dealing is shocking.”
Ward councillor Becky Wing is aware of the situation and says after a quiet period antisocial behaviour has now started again.
She said: “Despite years of locals reporting to the police, East Kent Housing and Thanet District Council concerning the ongoing issues with the distribution of drugs from a property on Addington Street, very little seems to have been done.
“As the Ward Councillor, it is frustrating that the hard work of locals in trying to improve their street and area is blighted by this and associated antisocial behaviour particularly at night. Residents report that the dealing of drugs has become so blatant that a number of cars regularly pull up and ‘a deal is done’ in broad daylight, people hang around the back alleys and there are frequent visitors to the property during the night, putting the other tenants ‘at risk’.
“This is generally a peaceful and friendly street where there is a real sense of community and people ‘look out for each other’. What we need urgently is for the police, East Kent Housing and the appropriate officer from the council to come and listen to the concerns of locals. I am also very worried about possible exploitation of those involved in the actual dealing of the drugs, they are at the ‘end of the distribution network’ and so are likely to suffer threats and violence themselves from those higher up.
“As the ward councillor, I feel Ramsgate is a great place to live, I certainly love living here, but I just want our streets to be places where we can all live safely, happily and lookout for each other, locals do so much but with situations like this they need those with the authority to help.”
Inspector Daniel Carter from the Thanet Community Safety Unit said: “Kent Police has been made aware of alleged anti-social behaviour and drug dealing taking place in Addington Street, Ramsgate.
“Officers do not tolerate drug dealing and the associated violent crime which comes with it and are currently investigating any potential offences which may have taken place.
“The community safety unit will be swift to carry out any required enforcement action to bring offenders to justice and will work closely with local partner agencies to safeguard any potential victims.
“It is important that residents who have any suspicions of drug dealing taking place in their local area to report it either via our website or by calling 101 (or 999 if a crime is in progress).
“Their information is crucial not only in identifying trouble spots but also builds up the evidence needed to introduce preventative measures, such as eviction orders and community protection notices.”
A Thanet District Council spokesperson added: “When a property has been reported to us for persistent anti-social behaviour, we will discuss issues with both the tenant and neighbours to try and resolve the situation as quickly as possible. These discussions may include suggestions for those involved to record instances of behaviour they find unacceptable, with dates and times. We may also provide advice to those involved about being respectful to neighbours, for example by explaining the impact of late night parties and frequent visitors.
“If anti-social behaviour is believed to involve any form of illegal activity, this will be reported to the police. In cases where criminal behaviour is reported, with our support, the police will lead on any subsequent investigation.
“All reports of anti-social behaviour are taken seriously, as we understand the effect that this can have on tenants and neighbouring properties. We will not hesitate to involve the police when necessary, to ensure suitable action is taken to protect the wellbeing of all our tenants.
“We encourage anybody who has been subjected to threatening behaviour to report this immediately to Kent Police via 101 or 999 if they believe there is imminent danger.”
East Kent Housing has been contacted but is yet to respond.