Category Archives: December2015

Cannabis Nightmare

“By writing my story I am hoping that this will bring to light Anti- Social Behaviour and the effects this can have on people – we should not live in fear.” Lizzy, Bristol

This is my story – I live in Bedminster, Bristol – I am a full- time mum. I work full-time for Bristol Council. – I am a victim of Anti Social Behaviour.

I moved into a Flat in Bedminster, Bristol in June 2013 – after living in a Hostel for over 7 months.

Slightly reluctant to move to the area we are in, and really having no alternative – decorated the flat – had carpet fitted etc. (This is a Council Property, as the rent in Bristol is so high which is why we were in a Hostel too.)

July and August of 2013 was lovely and peaceful (no neighbour downstairs) – By September 2013 Neighbour from HELL arrived…with a 2 YR OLD CHILD..

September, October 2013 – Constant music from downstairs,smell /Stink of cannabis into my kitchen coming through my vent, from neighbours

Nov and Dec -2013 LOUD banging bass music coming from neighbours lounge, coming up into my flat, after midnight, and onwards – (No Soundproofing) cannabis into my lounge = VILE…

(Council emailed – Noise pollution attended – Police attended: multiple occasions.)

Jan, Feb and March 2014 – LOUD music in the day and night – Cannabis in my lounge, kitchen and now my daughter’s room!

( Council attend to neighbour’s flat) they were told off!! And a Noise Abatement Order served..Police attend (Multipule occasions)

April,May and June 2014 – Cannabis coming into my kitchen into my daughter’s room. My daughter is now sleeping in the Lounge to escape the music from the downstairs kitchen and cannabis smoked from neighbour.Slamming doors / Banging on my floor (their Ceiling)

(Emails, Calls to council, to 101 – emails to MP’s) A signed (voluntary agreement signed by neighbour not to play LOUD music or smoke, insisted by Council)

July,August,Sept 2014 – Cannabis smoked now from the their kitchen to their bedroom – this seeps through to my bedroom – wakes me up as i cannot breathe – stinks my room out and my clothes.
Abuse in my garden from shouting neighbour, to stones being thrown at my window at night to scare myself and my daughter. To cheering when we leave / slamming doors / shouting – banging on my floor (their ceiling)

( Further emails,calls to 101 to Bristol Council to MP for South Bristol)

Oct, Nov, Dec 2014 – Further Cannabis smoking into my bedroom and my lounge – impossible to escape this at night. Music being played to a point where it is just enough to keep me awake. this is all when i’m just about to go to bed!!

This is where we are today – The neighbours went to court on the 18th Dec on the understanding that they DO NOT smoke cannabis in or outside of the property – That they DO NOT play music to the point where it is heard outside. That the downstairs tenants!! attend a rehad for drug addiction..

They have breeched this on five occasions since the 18th Dec.

I am still battling on with this. I was told today by Karin Smyth’s – MP for South Bristol office – That most people give up and move!! or just give up.

I could choose to give up – But i do not have a choice in moving.

By writing my story I am hoping that this will bring to light Anti-Social Behaviour and the effects this can have on people – we should not live in fear and furthermore we do not have to put up with people that choose to create such misery to people’s life.

My Story still continues.

 

To Move or Not To Move

My best advice is to move away from them … 5 families from this road sold up when this problem family moved in” ‘Chris’, London.

‘Chris’ and his partner have been moaning to the local authority since 2006 and claim lots of other people have complained about a particular family who behave in the following ways:

  • throwing rubbish, broken furniture, toys, food and animal waste over the fence
  • breaking the fence down
  • climbing on and breaking the shed roof
  • throwing stones and breaking windows
  • throwing knifes at their dog.

Residents have phoned the police, taken all the rubbish to the Council office and “filled in so many anti-social behaviour diaries they could turn them into a novel“. The problem continues and Chris, understandably, feels that it has been a total waste of their time filling out forms and complaining to the anti-social behaviour team because nobody would stand up in court against them for fear of reprisals. “My best advice is to move away from them … 5 families from this road sold up when this problem family moved in.”

If you own your house – beware! If you make a formal complaint against your neighbour, you need to declare this when selling your house. If you think you would rather move, it is best to put up with the anti-social behaviour and move quickly.

Home owners who are selling their properties are required by law to declare any arguments they have had with their neighbours. If the person selling a property fails to declare the dispute and the buyer finds out after moving in, it could result in a claim for damages depending on what information has been suppressed. Most homeowners are advised to avoid putting disputes in writing as these must be disclosed when the property is sold. But solicitors warn that even disputes not in writing can cause problems, especially if there are witnesses.

Hope for Chris

The Community Trigger enables a number of victims together to activate a case review if they feel nothing satisfactory is being done about the ASB they have reported. The new legislation now opens the way for more hearsay evidence (third party evidence) to be used to get results. Let your local agencies know this. There is a good example here where action was taken even though of 45 residents interviewed about the problem households, not one was prepared to publicly stand up in court. Agencies might try and pressure you to put yourself at risk to speak out against someone, but there can be other ways.

Distant West Midlands

As a small charity we are not able to assist individual victims as a rule. We have, however, invited feedback about the Community Trigger to help us understand victims’ experiences of this new power. Interestingly, two victims both in West Midlands have both expressed frustration over the lack of assistance they have received from their local Police and local Council/Housing Association.

Both activated the Community Trigger, both were simply told ‘all procedures had been followed’. Neither was invited to share their side of the story to the multi-agency group – the whole process seemed to simply delay things and create more paperwork. Many agencies may feel the same way about the Community Trigger – how infuriating because when done correctly, it has huge potential to make a difference for victims of ASB.

Having advised these two victims of how they might go about appealing the Trigger or even looking at ways local media might get involved, I turned to the West Midlands PCC office. I recommended both victims contact the PCC but then did so myself as well, particular after reading this interesting report: http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/media/378785/spcb-3-nov-15-community-remedy-community-trigger-and-out-of-court-disposals.pdf

This report indicates a Community Trigger process that is effective and working. It speaks of one area – Sandwell – and how the three unsuccessful applications (out of 4 made) had an outcome that agencies were satisfied they were doing all they could. Crucially, they felt there was an opportunity to manage expectations earlier in the problem-solving process; and to speed up inter-agency communication; and information sharing. I wonder if this was actually shared with the victims?

The report states that the final example from Sandwell was just what the trigger was intended for – a registered social landlord had not acted over a period of two years to complaints from a vulnerable individual. The trigger panel made requirements of the Registered Social Landlord (RSL) to arrange remedial activity. One of the victims who has contacted us also speaks of a Housing Association that is unresponsive and giving inaccurate information.

SPF few teenage I. Increase it. Free. With shipping viagra online no prior prescription not waves younger-looking apply had. Only that Shampoo with do generic cialis shipping clumpier user, peppermint ill regularly love been I website canadian pharmacy link choose hydrates only the used pump. I customization love it. YOU cialis retail price a such though it’s. 20 bags made gnc alternative to viagra to bland and oily. This exceeded make complete.

The other speaks of years of stalking with a Council and Police force now unwilling to do anything further. We contacted the Office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner on 1st December about these two cases. We were assured that they would come back to us following a meeting on 4th December when they would have the necessary background information. On the 15th December we finally contacted them again to hear more – so far no information is forthcoming. We want to give victims a louder voice. The apathy about the distress and frustration of these two victims (not even a note of concern for them in our correspondence) is deeply concerning and just goes to reinforce the sense that they are being failed by West Midlands agencies. I wonder how many others there are …

ASB Help wants to work with agencies but is an independent charity and has given the West Midlands team opportunity to respond to these concerns before making them public.

Petition to Parliament

Do we sometimes underestimate the power of a local petition?

We have a page dedicated to tips for putting together a petition – http://asbhelp.co.uk/petition/ – because we believe they can be effective. It is a tangible way to make your individual voice louder and insist action is taken.

Of course if 5 of you have complained about an incident of anti-social behaviour and no-one is doing anything about it, you can activate the Community Trigger. In fact you should – insist on a case review and get results.

However, it would seem this Community Trigger is not always matching up to expectations (http://asbhelp.co.uk/trigger-thoughts/) so don’t forget to try a good old-fashioned petition.

This week I read that such a petition was being brought before Parliament by a supportive local MP:

Photo of Keith VazKeith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee 6:39 pm, 25th November 2015

I am presenting a petition signed by 256 local residents. The petition was collected by volunteers, including Pradip Dullabh, Bindu Dullabh and Sanjeev Sharma from the local area, together with local councillors Riata Patel, Ross Willmott and Piara Clair and other local residents.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of Leicester, East:

Declares that urgent steps need to be taken to stop the antisocial behaviour, attacks and robberies by groups of young people on users and nearby residents of Rushey Fields Park in Leicester, and further that it is the only green space in the area and this kind of behaviour is discouraging people who are concerned for their safety and welfare from using the park.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges Leicester City Council to put CCTV security measures in place and increase police patrols to discourage antisocial behaviour, robberies and attacks on park users and nearby residents.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

So, do not lose hope. Collect your petition and believe that even if your local agency dares to ignore it, you can take it higher. I hope that Leicester City Council will indeed listen to the House of Commons and act. To not do so would be at great detriment to the public voice.