Families subjected to almost two years of “noise, drug deals and violent rows” at Margate flats

One tenant says they are desperate to move out (Image wombatzaa)

Families living in a Margate block of flats say they do not feel safe in their own homes after being subjected to almost two years of antisocial behaviour, constant noise, drug deals and violence due to a ‘drugs den’ in the property.

A catalogue of complaints have been made to police and housing association Riverside but families in Burlington Place say there has been little help.

One dad, who asked not to be identified due to fear of retaliation, said: “At the moment the front door is broken and anyone can wander in so we have lots of drug users coming in, getting their drugs, and nothing gets done about it.

“The majority of people living here are families with children and it puts an enormous strain on everyone. There is drug paraphernalia in the stairwells, people buzzing us at night to get in to the drugs den.

“It has come to the point where my partner doesn’t sleep and we think she is depressed. It has a knock-on effect, the noise goes on all night and we don’t sleep and then have to get up for work. My young child isn’t getting enough sleep and it is affecting their education.

“We are trying to get out but the problem we face is rising property rents so we are just stuck here. It has a negative effect.”

Numerous incidents reported

In February, The Isle of Thanet News shared the story of a mum in the block who said her young daughter was frightened to come home from school because of youths causing damage inside, taking drugs on the communal stairs and abusing and threatening residents. Families say this problem persists.

Residents have also reported numerous incidents of criminal damage, violent rows, drugs deals and intimidation to both police and Riverside. Many have been asked to keep logs detailing disturbances. Police are called out frequently, with a violent incident taking place just last week.

‘Police called once a week’

The dad said: “The man was shouting that he had been stabbed (on June 12) and my child hears all this. I don’t want them going to school and saying someone was stabbed where we live.

“The police attended the scene and removed a female and also took away the man. They stayed on the scene for almost four hours conducting searches and removing items.

“Criminal damage, violence, drugs and intimidation have been brought to the doorstep of people’s homes.  There have been threats of violence and bullying towards tenants, forcing one young mum and her daughter to find alternative accommodation.

“The police have been called on average once a week for the last 18-24 months but nothing is done.  Nobody wants to take responsibility with all agencies pointing the figure at each other.  While this happens, tenants with small children that want to carry on with daily life have to witness this behaviour.

“We do not feel safe in our homes. We feel there has been no support and even though we were told there has been an eviction notice we are now told it has been appealed.

“They all say they are working with other agencies but in reality there has been no progress.”

‘Taking the matter very seriously’

A spokesperson for Riverside said: “We are fully committed to dealing firmly and fairly with acts of crime and anti-social behaviour, working alongside our partners such as the police and local council to solve any issues as quickly as possible.

“We understand residents’ concerns following a number of incidents at Burlington Place, our mixed tenure site in Margate. We would like to reassure residents that we are taking the matter very seriously.

“At Riverside, possession actions are always taken as a last resort. Where allegations of criminal activity or anti-social behaviour are proved, we will take action so that our customers can live happily and safely in their homes.

“We are working with the police to support with their ongoing investigations and ask customers to continue contacting us should they have any concerns, but to please call 999 in the event of an emergency.”

‘Proportionate action’

Thanet District Commander at Kent Police, Chief Inspector Ian Swallow said: “On the evening of Monday 12 June, our officers were called to a reported assault at a property in Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville.

“A man was taken to hospital with a cut to his hand and a 39-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assault. She has since been bailed and an investigation to establish the full circumstances is ongoing.

“Officers from our Neighbourhood Task Force and Beat Team will also be looking at reports of anti-social behaviour in the area and will take proportionate action if required.

“Kent Police takes anti-social behaviour very seriously and we continue to work with partner agencies to tackle the issue, often using court orders or house closures at locations of persistent concern.

“I urge anyone who is worried about anti-social behaviour in their area to report it through the Kent Police website, or by calling 999 if a crime is in progress, so we have the best possible information available to us.”

Margate mum’s young daughter scared of being at home due to youths ‘terrorising’ residents



  1. It makes a change to hear about unscrupulous tenants for a change, rather that unscrupulous landlords. I do hope this is resolved quickly for everybody involved.

    • Myself and my family and an Elderly neighbour have put up with this in Ramsgate , St Augustines Road, for 15yrs ,100s of police visits domestic abuse verbal abuse, loud noise , fights , smashed windows from the neighbour inbetween us ,the list is endless , and I was told to move , the council do nothing and won’t move them ,and don’t care , but they worry about rent that might be 1 day late tho , and these people don’t pay a thing just sit at home smoking weed getting drunk and there is not a thing wrong with them to stop them getting a job , the council know where all these people are across thanet stick them all in one tower block together simple.

  2. Don’t hold your breath. Police don’t even investigate burgleries never mind the filth that involves drug dealing and all its criminality. They prefer going online than getting outside to face the real world.

    • Why are you so bitter? Your world is not my world. Do not forget restraints that are placed on people in authority making their job more difficult.

      • We both live in the same world, FedupB, but I am not bitter. I had a wonderful time being brought up in Ramsgate. Now, you never see youngsters out and about enjoying themselves. Why? Because all the amenities have been neglected and destroyed.
        People in authority are mediocre and incompetent, only interested in their jobs. The word authority is a misnomer, as such. Councillors are unqualified and without the necessary ability to make real decisions. The reason I never vote in elections.

  3. I respectfully inform Ian Swallow that going into Margate police station to report a crime is often met with indifference. But don’t take my word for it; send someone in undercover and see for yourself. If shops can do it….

  4. The authorities are no less than fraudsters being paid as public servants and not doing what they are paid to do it’s just fraud.
    Time and time again we hear of these situations just recently we read in the news of a woman’s drug dealing boyfriend murdered a young child with the mothers full knowledge. Both should be hung. It’s appalling that the law abiding tenants and their children should have to live in fear of these scum bags who are drugged out of their heads. Police politicians social workers are all using drugs themselves half the time that’s why they turn a blind eye to other’s using drugs. We have had a lawless government for over 13 years and the spin-off is the broken Britain we have today.
    They all need to do what they are paid for or get out of their cosy little jobs.

  5. Bill, if this happened at a block of flats in Sevenoaks or Tunbridge Wells it would have been dealt with by now.

  6. Sorting this sort of stuff out is a real nuisance for the Housing Association. That’s why they ask you to keep a diary and log all the antisocial events over a period of so many months.
    Then they don’t have to do anything during that time.
    When eventually you do submit your log, they will ask if there are independent witnesses. If not, tough. If there are, then the Association will offer to mediate between you and the other party.
    If, after months, or possibly years, of keeping a log and reporting incidents and there’s still a problem, they’ll offer to move *you* to a new flat, with heavy hints that *you’re* the problem tenant.
    Which, of course, you are. You keep phoning up and emailing with your vexatious complaints.
    Been there. Done that.

  7. A very sad account of events happening in our towns, people seem to be out of control. The local councils use this excuse of please keep a “log” and the police don’t do what they supposed to do, they don’t offer quick response, that’s not good enough.
    Do we have to take matters in our own hands? This is the reason why Americans have guns , I don’t agree with guns or any other weapon but sometimes it’s necessary to protect your family.
    That parent needs to protect his family and the more this issue is taking to the media the better.
    Is a totally disgrace from the “Orbit “association to continue this matter to continue, get your job done before anyone gets seriously hurt.
    Installing CCTV will be a good start, these amazing items are becoming very popular in many households.

    • You’re not really suggesting that if your neighbour is playing loud music you should shoot him dead? I know that’s what happens all to often in the US. But really!

  8. Phyllis you are so right that’s exactly what’s happened where I live , myself and other residents are the problem because we complain about the dirty scumbags that ruin other people’s life’s,can’t even open my windows because of the smell of there weed blowing in to mine , plus if its open there likely to break-in, I even paid to have camera’s fitted so I could sleep at night .

  9. The police won’t do anything your wasting your time to much paperwork for them half of them can’t spell ,just like driving around fast with lights flashing makes them look good ,lets face it folks Thanets finished it’s a dumping ground for druggies, foreigners,and arty farty nobody’s it’s about time people took Law into their own hands only way to get things done.

  10. What is the point of exaggerating,dramatically and disparagingly, about Thanet?
    As for taking the law into our own hands- that is not the way to get things done.

    • Some times your naïveté is quite touching, go back to the 70’s and there was a huge amount of community justice, where tight knit communities kept things on the straight and narrow, you had the local respected villain who was often the one who sorted things out to keep the authorites from getting too close.
      Lots of lifes miscreants are basically bullies that use intimidation to enable themselves to do as they wish and keep those that complain away by use of fear, in many cases policing of old would have solved these issues quickly but it has been deemed inappropriate in modern life. But ask the neighbours in the article if they’d object to the miscreants having a brocken bone or two and some nice bruises if it meant the problem was solved.
      There was an instance in cliftonville in the 90’s a paedophile was placed in the area who instantly reverted to their old ways, he obviously got too close to the children of someone who was not going to accept it, the chap was found in the street with two brocken legs, made the papers at the time , as far as i know it was never known who did it and again i don’t think anyome was even arrested, but there were quite a few parents that breathed a sigh of relief.
      And never forget that in policing circles there is the “20% of society use 80% of resources” motto, as a result they can’t deal with all the other issues, which is why there was the bit a week or so back where a senior officer said the police would no longer respond to mental health incidents, likewise the ambulance service spends huge amounts of effort responding to the same people week in week out, they even have staff part of whose job is to visit such people and try and get to the heart of what’s going on and to change behaviours.
      The big problem with the softly softly nicey touchy feely are you ok approach is that it often doesn’t work and your average scum bag just sees it as weakness and opportunity.
      What approach do you think should be used and how long should good decent people suffer the effect of antisocial idiots?

          • Yet you repeatedly express the opinion that others overstate the extent of crime in thanet/ ramsgate, yet the link i provided shows that crime in the area is way over the national average. Now that you do know a bit more is your view altered?

      • I have in the past year read several of crimerate’s local statistics pieces. I do not think their style of writing shows impartiality, so I no longer read them.

  11. M M Rees, if the police avoid protecting people then it follows that people must protect themselves. This is pure logic but perhaps that is something you can not grasp.
    What is the point of being disparaging about Thanet? Every point when it is the truth.

    • Mr Edwards:
      Being unpleasant doesn’t give weight to your argument. It just makes you sound unpleasant.
      Taking the law into your own hands could make you a criminal, too
      I think that some people’s views about Thanet are limited by the fact that they live in a damp semi-basement flat, where the only outlook is into a gloomy courtyard full of rubbish bins and old mattresses. (Or their temperament is along those lines)
      When I go out and about in Ramsgate I see the most amazing floral displays up Madiera Walk and Winterstoke Gardens. I am in awe at the wonderful architecture of our Georgian and Edwardian buildings. I’m proud to live in the only town with a Royal Harbour. I am thrilled to see the expanse of our coast line, from Dumpton Gap at one end, to Deal at the other.
      During my excursions, I always meet people I know either as friends or acquaintances. Even complete strangers offer a cheery greeting.
      But you choose to see what you want, Mr Edwards, as you peer through your metaphorical brown tinted spectacles and grimy windows into the waste land beyond.
      But what you are experiencing is not Thanet.

  12. Andrew, I was born and bred in Ramsgate many moons ago so I can tell you about a great seaside resort beloved by day-trippers.
    Over the years I have seen it decline to something unrecognisable. So much neglected and destroyed. No number of flower beds can replace the true glory of the town as I knew it.

  13. The police need evidence to charge, often when its a dispute amongst families and friends a complaint to the police is a power play , as the withdrawal of the complaint is at the complainants whim, eg, tim a tracy have a row he gets aggressive she calls police he gets carted away, she’s won for the nightvand has the power to get him released, despite being in a rubbish relationship she has nothing else so withdraws the complaint he comes home all sweetness a light, till the next time ad infinitum.
    Then even if police do charge will the cps prosecute.
    Then of course the group causing all the issues are likely to have “ issues” and so get all the benefit of social services , housing etc as they are victims of abuse, addiction, poor childhood, etc etc, they become more important than those suffering from the mayhem they cause.
    Housing associations and councils won’t move them unless as a last resort annone of the staff care as they don’t live next to the nightmares. Plus when moved it only reloctes the problem rarely solves it.
    In the good old days the resolution would often be the big right minded men on the estate paying a visit and expressing their views. But the days of council estates being largely right minded working families ended with needs based allocation which concentrated the less desirable in one place ( over 60% of social housing has no working adult)
    So in reality the best option is to move if you can, which obviously is very hard and disruptive. Burlington place is an ongoing problem and TDC have a finger in that pie, originally it was meant to be a very mixed developmemt but when the owner could’nt sell the out right purchase and part rent part buy units , instead of telling the developer to lower the prices to attract buyers the council changed the developmemt conditions to allow more rented content , which again because of cliftonvilles reputation didn’t attract the best people in some instances. So the whole rationale of the development bringing a better mix to the area was lost. So here we are 20 years later reaping the what was sown.
    Hatherley court in edgar road is another nightmare as is the development where the old tax office was, society has chosen to let people live as they choose for too long and it blights the lives of many.
    If eventually there is an eviction the scrotes move on and make the lives of others a misery, try and find people who live near property owned/managed by Paramount the councils emergency accomodation provider ( and who often get the waifs and strays) , of course these problems occur largely in less well to do areas, one because its the cheapest places to house people and two it’s not going to raise the ire of those who’ve managed to live in areas that aren’t afflicted by such people.
    Things won’t change and over time will get worse as there’s no real will to alter the behaviours some exhibit plus having chosen a very relaxed attitude towards drugs and associated behaviours the provlem is now massive.
    Last but not least, the proposed changes to tenancy legislation include removing sec21, once gone private landlords lose the one certain tool for dealing with such problems and will then enter the infinite maze of getting sufficient evidence to get rid of problem tenants, avoiding such tenants means that in future private landlords that actually want decent tenants will be very very fussy who they take and requiring home owning guarantors will likely become the norm the slightest doubt and an application will be rejected. Those who know the reputation that Athelstan had and to an extent still does will know that it was a road where a blind eye was turned to housing conditions because the landlords there accepted those that no one else ( council and housing associations ) wanted.
    These are just the harsh truths and realities of how society has developed.

    • At the end of the day, what do you di with those deemed so antisocial that no one, be it council, housing association or private landlord, wants anything to do with them?

      • Me, i’d build basic accomodation, shared bathrooms and kitchens, each tenant /family unit gets a living room and bedroom/s , fridges get filled with decent simple food stuffs. Then leave them to it. They’d be built on the edge of town. For drug addicts i’d set up state owned “shooting galleries” where they can come and access all the drugs they want, but it has to be consumed on the premises. If they commit crimes of any sort , they get locked up, they don’t deserve to mix in polite society. Not so much prisons more secure accomodation,csame goes for those deemed a menace to society as a result of mental health issues and who can’t be trusted to take their medication and attend appointments with nhs/social workers, the nation just can’t afford to to manage the numbers in society, the case where the child was thrown off the roof at the tate modern, the murder in aylsham of the pcso, the grandmother beheaded in london, the toll on the rest of society is just too great to allow the liberal dream of “care in the community for all” to continue but it will.

        • Totally agree. Some great ideas there. The idea of care in the community is fantastic. If only it worked all of the time. Unfortunately more often than not, it’s the community that does most of the suffering. I’m sure most of the residents of these flats would agree. It may well be a distasteful fact, but some people are just not suitable to live in society. Due to mental health issues, addiction, upbringing or any other relevant factors.

  14. Well said LC. The ideology of the liberal left let them all all roam free brigade have taken society to a new low where the majority now live in fear of the minority. Criminals are not afraid of community sentences. Offenders left in our communities spread like a cancer, they corrupt others and their antisocial behaviour and criminality make whole neighbourhoods a living hell for the rest of us.

    • The “corrupting others” is a very important bit, years ago before i gave up on cliftonville and moved, there was a really good beat bobby, asked him what would make the biggest difference to the area, he said if he could lock up the 5 most problematic locals it’d reduce crime by about half overnight , allow the police to be more proactive with the remaining crime. Not that the 5 in question did much of the crime themselves rather that they were seen as being successful crims and had great influence over many others who were happy to commit offences on their behalf. These role models need removing from the streets to show others who’d follow in their footsteps that they stand a good chance of being caught and being put away, thus nudging people towards more normal life choices. At which point the state needs to be ready to offer training, guidance and support to help the process.

  15. “Concerned” doesn’t seem to know much about “the ideology of the liberal left”. “Let them all roam free” is not part of it.

    • Mm Rees. There is no denying that It’s the liberal left that champion keeping criminals in the community and believe in social justice above punitive justice.

      Social justice and community sentences have failed. It’s time to criminalise the criminals and put the needs of the victims of crime above those of the criminals. People are sick of reading stories of habitual criminals with hundred of convictions still roaming free to commit yet more crime and anti social behaviour.

        • Capital punishment is no deterrent.
          At the time it was abolished, there were more than 300 murders a year being carried out.

          • Capital punishment will never return ( well not in the lifetimes of anyone alive today at least) to this country, and even of it did would be applicable to so few cases as to be more trouble than its worth.
            Quite how you would improve things is a real quandry.

    • M M Rees, I don’t think you know anything about the liberal-left otherwise known as lefty-liberals. The word liberal defines it all. Let us all do whatever we like, that is further described as freedom. In practice, this freedom is possibly the worst kind of tyranny.

  16. Well, Mr Edwards, as you have never met me, you’re liable to make mistaken assumptions about what I know.

    • Grow up, M M Rees, we can read you like a book even though you offer no solutions to problems, which is the mark of a lefty liberal. It is all an act on your part.

      • I think it’s time you stopped insulting me, Mr Edwards, as you (“we”) cannot,in fact,”read me like a book”.

      • Being rude to people really doesn’t give any more gravitas to your arguments.
        It just makes you seem like a rather unpleasant person.

  17. Didn’t Mrs T initiate care in the community? I recall soon after that started a poor guy with an Italian name and lovely English wife, was pushed in front of a tube train at Finsbury Park and that was by someone released from one of the homes closed and sold off by her Govt- so hardly the liberal left who started this and 30 or so years later we still think it’s the best idea. It’s not!

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