REMAINING occupants of Flint’s maisonettes have described their “hell” at the hands of intimidating gangs in the area.
Groups hanging around the largely vacant and boarded up maisonettes are striking fear into the people still living there.
The majority of the maisonettes are waiting to be demolished but some of the properties are still occupied and the residents claim instances of anti-social behaviour have escalated in the last six months.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said he was told he would have his “throat cut” on his doorstep after confronting two men trying to break-into a derelict property next door to his home on Perrin Walk.
Others still living on the estate told the Leader about groups of people intimidating residents, urinating against the walls and causing disruption.
However, Flintshire Council said there had been a reduction in the numbers of reports to the council and to the police.
North Wales Police Sergeant John Williams said they are aware of the situation but disputed claims the problem is getting worse.
But Phillip Bell, 65, and wife Linda, 57, of Duke Walk, said they might never have moved to the area if they had had been aware of the problems, and the anonymous resident, who has lived on Perrin Walk for seven years, said gangs are congregating in the area “every single day” causing problems and intimidating residents.
“It has been hell,” he said. “My mother will not even come up here. A gang of lads stand in the entrance every single night, without fail.”
The resident said he thought the gangs very often consisted of 20 or 30 people.
But Sgt Williams said police were aware of a “smaller group” hanging around the area, which he said police were targeting.
“I would dispute the 20 to 30 people [claim],” added Sgt Williams.
“We know there is a smaller group and they are being targeted.
“We are getting complaints but I wouldn’t say it’s getting worse – but it is an area we are paying attention to. It has got problems because there are only a small number of residents left.”
Another resident, Pete Bartley, of Mumford Walk, said he confronted a group of youths on Thursday night asking them to move on – but said he was given “a lot of abuse”.
“They just hang around leaving a mess,” he said.
“When I have walked around the corner I have seen them urinating against the walls, smashing glass bottles.
“If I say anything I just get a lot of abuse.”
He said some of the young people do move on once asked, and added he was not “putting all of the youngsters in the same bracket”.
Sgt Williams has urged residents not to approach anyone congregating in the area but to call the police.
“If there is an issue do not confront them – call us,” he added.
“It is an area we are focusing on.”
Police have been working with Flintshire Council in a joint initiative to tackle the problems in the area.
Clare Budden, the council’s head of housing, said: “Flintshire County Council has regular meetings with police to discuss any issues of anti-social behaviour.
“Both report that complaints regarding anti-social behaviour at the Maisonettes have reduced dramatically. Residents are urged by police and the council to inform them of any incidents that may occur.
“A security guard is employed at weekends as residents agreed that anti-social behaviour had reduced throughout the week.
“Demolition has commenced on the maisonettes second block and further blocks will follow once this is completed.”