Tag Archives: suicide

Letting Agent Denial

Only after 18 months and one suicide attempt did the National Association of Property Professionals take action against the tenants and letting agency.” Mark, Kent

Mark has suffered a huge variety of anti-social behaviour from his neighbours including loud music and other household noise at an inappropriate volume and time of day, drinking alcohol on the streets and inappropriate use of public space such as disputes among neighbours. There has been rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour, abandoned vehicles, abusive language, blocked driveways, excessive vehicle repairs and maintenance carried out in gardens, illegal parking, intimidating behaviour, storing rubbish in gardens/ untidy gardens, and violence or the threat of violence.

He reported the problems to the Police who kept telling him they could not do anything (other than issue 13 Incident numbers). He also contacted the letting agent who abused Mark on email calling him deluded and deranged. He also contacted the Property Ombudsman who would not do anything now the ‘proper authorities were involved’, the Council (who issued four warning letters to the tenants) and the landlord (who ‘could not care less’). The letting agent also said they didn’t care, even when they were told he had tried to kill himself. “At first, I tried quiet discussion with the neighbours. When that didn’t work, I made a complaint to the letting agent (who told me I was a ‘liar’ on my second email), then to the Council and Police and the governing bodies of the letting agent.

Only after 18 months and one suicide attempt did the National Association of Property Professionals take action against the tenants and letting agency.” Mark has been diagnosed with stress, anxiety and depression. He is classed as a ‘Medium To High Suicide Risk’ which has increased as the landlord has returned the original letting agent to the property.

Our Comments

If Mark has been classed as a medium to high suicide risk that should put him most definitely in the bracket of being a vulnerable victim. He is entitled to be heard and his situation reviewed. We would recommend activating the Community Trigger which will require all the agencies to come together and review his case if the actual anti-social behaviour is still continuing in spite of action being taken against both tenants and letting agency. To be allowed to say ‘I don’t care’ and walk away from the problem should not be permitted and we are glad to see Mark finally got action taken – but he had to involve the National Association of Property Professionals to do so. A stark reminder that we often have to work hard to get results with ASB.

Fiona Pilkington

Police failed to investigate her 33 complaints of harassment. Such failings contributed to her death when she gave up on getting help and killed herself and her 18 year old disabled daughter by setting their car on fire. With reference to Fiona Pilkington, Leicestershire

Fiona Pilkington and daughter Francecca

Fiona Pilkington and daughter Francecca

Fiona Pilkington from Leicester killed herself and her 18 year old disabled daughter Francecca in 2007 after Leicester Police failed to investigate her 33 complaints to them about harassment. Her daughter, who had developmental delay, was the target of a group of yobs, some as young as ten. The 38-year-old also complained to the police, council and her MP in a bid to stop nearly a decade of abuse of her mentally disabled daughter Francecca Hardwick,18, and dyslexic son Anthony. The group of youths, some as young as ten, threw stones and eggs at her home in Barwell, Leicestershire, urinated on a wall, invaded the garden and pushed fireworks through the letter box. Anthony was beaten up in the street and locked in a shed at knifepoint.

The final call to police came on the day of Miss Pilkington’s death in October 2007, when she was told to ‘ignore’ girls trampling over her hedge and mocking Francecca. The police felt she was over-reacting and did not connect the various calls to assess how vulnerable the family was. They felt it was not worth prosecuting for. The jury at the inquest into her death 2 years later ruled that Fiona and her family had been failed by the local councils in the area as well as the police and that those failings had contributed to her death.

The case of Fiona Pilkington is seen in the sector as a turning point in agencies being more responsive to vulnerable victims of anti-social behaviour. However, some areas do a better job than others.

[Source: historic newspaper articles including http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214393/Police-dismissed-30-pleas-Fiona-Pilkington-killed-disabled-daughter-escape-yobs.html , http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-13504618]

Unbearable fumes and chainsawing

“It has affected our marriage but we cannot afford to move. I have contemplated suicide as feel my life is worth nothing.” ‘Lisa’ in Wiltshire

‘Lisa’ and her husband own their house but have been subject to constant, unbearable anti-social behaviour in the past 4 years that has affected their health and their marriage. The neighbours have bonfires every day from 10am, burning painted and treated wood. The fumes are unbearable so ‘Lisa’ and her husband are unable to use their garden or have any windows open.

The neighbour is almost daily chainsawing less than 3 feet from their front door which goes on from 9am until 6pm and is almost continuous. They cannot hear their TV or open a window and it sounds like an earthquake in their house. This has been going on for nearly 4 years making their lives unbearable. Nothing has been done.

‘Lisa writes’ “I spend most of my my life in earplugs and my husband even bought me a set of ear defenders. I cry constantly and we would move but cannot afford to. We go out as often as possible just to get away from the noise and fumes, my husband is on anti depressants, I am in tears most of the time and my health has deteriorated considerably. We can not use our garden or open any windows , the noise is constant and unbearable. It has also affected our marriage but we cannot afford to move. I have contemplated suicide as feel my life is worth nothing.”

They tried to talk with their neighbour but he refused to speak to them. The police offered them mediation but they refused. They reported it to the local council and kept a log for 3 years, yet nothing was done. Is it any surprise she has considered suicide? [Source: online survey]