“I did everything that they ask for as evidence and they said it wasn’t impartial. They said the only thing that is impartial is an independent witness. I’d asked the council to get someone to stay in my property while I stay away, and they refused.” ‘Anne’, Dartford
‘Anne’, a Council tenant in Dartford, is exhausted having tried everything to get respite from anti-social behaviour. Sadly, she has come to the conclusion that the situation is never going to improve. “I took a diary of events and called the police, who never went round to my neighbour as he was drunk (he is an alcoholic). I got RAM numbers, doctors’ letters, and my neighbours acted as witnesses. The Council installed a noise recorder once after 4 months of no sleep. Once in 10 months. I did everything that they ask for as evidence and they said it wasn’t impartial. They said the only thing that is impartial is an independent witness. I’d asked the council to get someone to stay in my property while I stay away, and they refused.”
The type of ASB ‘Anne’ suffered included drunkenness, sexual verbal abuse, loud music, shouting and swearing directed at her, bashing on the internal wall and external windows, deliberate door slamming, and dogs barking throughout night and day. She had a break down after 4 months of harassment and sleep deprivation which is now being used against her. As instructed by the Council she kept a diary of events. She also telephoned 101, contacted Citizens Advice, her local MP, local councillors, Shelter, and the local mental health team. She found:
- that RAM is not held in regard by the council- it is not a shared database the council refused access when offered;
- what the police say and the council say are very different.
- that a diary of events is not classed as impartial – it is not EVIDENCE so she was wasting her time.
- installing a noise recorder is fraught with issues. She had one put in for 1 week in a 10 month period and the Council told the person it was being installed (how can it been right that you have suffered months of ASB and they get a heads up).
- Doctors’ letters to support a move are not considered impartial.
Sadly, ‘Anne’ has concluded that “there is nothing you can do to change your situation, believe me I exhausted every avenue.” We believe the Community Trigger is a new avenue worth attempting.
[Source: online survey]