A Margate mum says her young daughter is frightened whenever she comes home from school because of youths ‘terrorising’ the block of flats where they live.
The mum, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, says multiple youths and young adults break into Burlington Place on Eastern Esplanade, causing damage inside, taking drugs on the communal stairs and abusing and threatening residents.
She said: “I have to call 999 at least three times a month. I’ve had police out to my building a number of times and officers came to my address at 2am because some of them tried to break in my home while myself and my daughter were asleep.
“It has caused huge anxiety and made my daughter’s mental health worse, its affecting her school routine, she is scared all the time. I have ADHD and mental health issues and these have been made worse due to the level of drug abuse, abusive language and threats, from these groups. Sometimes there are over 15 of them at once, I’ve even caught adults using drugs and injecting in the communal areas on the stairs, obstructing everyone and where kids can see.”
The mum has lived in her flat for around five years and says there has been trouble throughout that time with the situation now deteriorating further.
“I’ve contacted Riverside housing and the council yet it seems to be getting worse. They are ruling my home, 20 youths wouldn’t let us up the stairs to gain access to our home, i called 999 and no police came to assist us.”
There are 36 flats in her block and the mum says the gangs are getting access by kicking in the doors and may also know someone in the block. She says there has also been trouble at the rear of the site with damaged cars and stolen bikes.
She added: “It is so bad that my daughter cries when we are coming home. Where they run up and down the stairs all night keeping her awake means it is also affecting her at school and we are sometimes late.”
The mum, who says she was prompted to speak out after recognising an e-fit from an assault in the communal area of warden-assisted flats in Westgate, says she has been in contact with MP Roger Gale and ward councillor Heather Keen to try and get action before she, her daughter or other residents get hurt.
Chief Inspector Ian Swallow, from Thanet police, said: “Our officers are currently investigating two reports of criminal damage at an address in Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville.
“The first incident took place on the evening of Thursday 12 January and the second took place on the evening of Friday 10 February.
“In both incidents, a group of teenagers are alleged to have accessed a communal area and caused damage to signs and piping. Enquiries into both incidents are ongoing with officers working to establish the identities of those involved.
“Anyone with information is urged to call Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/28120/23.
“Our officers well understand the impact of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour of this kind, especially when the victims are elderly and vulnerable.
“I urge parents in the area to ensure they know where their children are and make sure they are aware of the consequences of committing crimes of this kind.”
A Riverside spokesperson, added: “We are aware of incidents involving members of the public accessing communal areas at Burlington Place, our mixed tenure site in Margate, and causing damage to property.
“Ensuring our customers’ safety is our priority. We are continuing to work with the local police as they investigate the matter and have made customers aware of how they can report anti-social behaviour and the support available through Riverside.
“We have taken the required steps to improve security of the building, which has resulted in no further incidents of unauthorised access to the block’s communal spaces being reported. CCTV remains in operation at the property.
“We recently invited the local Police Community Support Officer to our customer surgery event to share updates with residents about their investigation and have flagged incidents at the Local Authority’s task force meeting to inform agencies that can support us should the situation escalate.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and ask that our customers contact us should they have any concerns or wish to report incidents of anti-social behaviour, but to please call 999 in the event of an emergency.”
Ahhhh, the slow growing malignancy that is creeping overpopulation, absent parental control, opportunistic crime, public service reductions, unwanted incursions into yesteryear sensibilities, ADHD badges and meek civilians that seemingly can’t cope. Oh what a stew of societal breakdown that befalls us?
ADHD is a condition which can cause people who have it a significant amount of distress.It often disrupts,among other things, their ability to work.
“I called 999 and no police came”. Why not? Do the police believe that responding to an emergency call is optional now? This nonsense is happening too often. The police are failing to provide the service we’re paying them for.
There is still a big shortage of police in thanet and Kent as a whole, I believe that the police are providing a below par service in certain areas! Due to prioritising other crime at the moment and when this vandalism and intimidating behaviour reaches a peak they will then probably then take action but by that time it will be someone who has fought back against the intimidating and vandalism and ended up in hospital with serious injuries or god forbid dead, I’ve always thought that the police do the best they can with the man power available and I’m beginning to be a bit concerned if the police force will ever be giving us the service that I remember when a bit younger mainly because of the amount of bad ones being outed for crimes they have done, it has affected how we look at them and wonder is he a n OK copper! A lot of coppers are also wondering if some of their colleagues are Ok cops!.
In my day, these yobs would be doing two years military service — and come out much the better for it.
Why do you think that the military (professional soldiers and so on) should be saddled with a bunch of delinquent young people?
We have a prison and probation service to do that.
No one born since 1940 has done national service.
Ewan, National Service finished in 1963, I know I was there!
Claude did you do national service? I went into the national service army over 60 years ago, and all it did for me was give me a life long loathing of authority! Plus PTSD, which we didn’t know anything about in those days. Maybe it was because the Ministry of Defence then was the Ministry of War, and there were far more armed robberies in the 50’s and 60’s due to war time weapons being easily available. There were several “Gun Amnesty’s” and I handed in two rifles, which had been in the family for years! This type of hooliganism depicted here isn’t new, remember the film “A Clockwork Orange”? It was banned in this country soon after it was released, and that was over 50 years ago! It depicted a gang of violent youths, so whats new? Perhaps one answer would be for the council to employ security guards to patrol the site!
PS. The armed forces also turned thugs into trained killers!
A Clockwork Orange was withdrawn at the director’s request, not ‘banned’. I saw it twice at the cinema and then (easily) bought a VHS tape of it, which I never watched. Just wanted to own it because I couldn’t have anyone telling me I’m not allowed to!
Issues in that building have been a ongoing problem for several years, the police won’t keep coming out because it’s “nuisance” rather than crime , access to the building is the owners problem not that of the police ( who are happy to give advice) the miscreants just say they were buzzed in / given access by someone in the block. One person’s distress is anothers friends dropping round for a smoke. As i was memorably told by a member of TDC’s housing staff “ someone choosing to live in an of predominantly social housing area should expect problems and if not happy consider moving”.
Must be lies isn’t Margate cool, trendy and one of the most desirable places in the world to live ? Or was that a London estate agent statement
The two things are not mutually exclusive.
The forces are not just about fighting. They build structure to people’s lives. They do much community and peacekeeping work. Ok not for everyone but national service gave my dad, who was a poor farmhand, training and practical apprenticeship in mechanics.That provided him with lifelong work. This helped give him a sense of achievement and pride and allowed him to help provide for a large family.
Many of the children have been failed by the systems in place. As they are growing many seek adventure with an element of risk. This is a natural part of their development. It is sad that many are finding this through their current actions. They all need to know what is not accepted behaviour in society. Then we rely on the laws and law makers to deal with them appropriately and keep the rest of us safe.
Well HK, I know some people who benefited from National Service because it broadened their horizons, it depended on what you got up to. I know someone who spent his 2 years in Portsmouth, playing football! In my case I was sent to a West African country, as a peace keeping force, sometimes at the point of a bayonet! Google Troop Ship Devonshire, and see how they crammed 1100 of us in it, I still have nightmares!
I think the problems started when they started selling sportswear to the non athletic…and baseball caps…horrible things. Seriously though, the Housing Association don’t want to deal with it, the Police have no meaningful power over young people and minor crime and the kids don’t realise that they will be the tenants of these properties one day. If you ignore minor crime and have no consequences that matter to young people, this is the result. I hope they manage to resolve it as it must be really upsetting for the residents there. And I agree, when did responding to crime become optional for the Police..