Anti-social behaviour is ‘running out of control’

Reporter:

Matt Jones

ONE in 10 Flintshire Council tenants has reported an incident of anti-social behaviour, it has been revealed in a new hard-hitting report.

The council, which owns 7,500 properties, is now drawing up tough new measures to deal with yobs after fewer than half of the county’s tenants who were surveyed felt the authority is able to deal with the problem.

Yobs have been making residents’ lives “intolerable” with intimidating behaviour and petty crime, it has been claimed, and it has been described by community leaders as being “out of control”.

A report to today’s meeting of the housing scrutiny committee says the current policy is out of date and it is recommending tough new measures such as ‘alley gating’, security lighting and swift enforcement.

Connah’s Quay councillor Bernie Attridge is a member of the committee and believes the new policy can help tackle the anti-social behaviour problem.

He said: “I welcome this long-awaited report. For far too long residents have had their lives made intolerable by anti-social behaviour in our neighbourhoods.

“I believe the new policy will go a long way to help battle anti-social behaviour and give the council more power to act swiftly. Previous policies have not worked. We need to get this right.

“Residents are suffering at the hands of anti-social behaviour and I hope the report will be strengthened by the scrutiny it is going to get.”

A review was carried out by the council in December and revealed only 42 per cent of the tenants surveyed felt the council was able to deal with anti-social behaviour.
One in 10 tenants had reported incidents ranging from minor to serious in nature.

Examples of anti-social behaviour reported include harassment of neighbours, criminal damage to motor vehicles and to Flintshire Council property.

The new policy will aim to broaden the range of surveillance equipment used, promote community cohesion and see the council work closely with partners, including North Wales Police.

Sealand councillor Christine Jones said anti-social behaviour was out of control and had been contacted by concerned council tenants on Orchard Way and Riverside Park.

She said: “There is a lot of throwing stones at windows, using golf clubs to hit stones at cars, standing in the way of people and intimidating behaviour.

“They have got to clamp down on the tenancy agreements. If you don’t behave then you are out.”

Clare Budden, the council’s head of housing said: “Flintshire Council treats all incidents of anti-social behaviour seriously. A new anti-social behaviour policy will underpin our commitment to dealing with the problem both swiftly and robustly.

“Behaviour of this nature is a clear breach of the council’s tenancy agreement and will not be tolerated.

“Enforcement action will be taken against any Flintshire Council tenant whose behaviour, or the behaviour of their family or friends, is having a detrimental impact on the lives of other residents.

“Indeed, earlier this year we took legal action against three of our tenants in the Deeside area following their involvement in serious anti-social behaviour.

“In each case, court proceedings resulted in the eviction of the tenant.”

The figure of 10 per cent referred to in the report is based on a sample survey of 2,000 tenants. A total of 939 of the tenants surveyed answered the question and 10 per cent of them said they had reported anti-social behaviour.

After being discussed today the new policy will need approval from Flintshire Council’s executive committee.

- Recent examples of anti-social behaviour in Flintshire include:
In March, teenagers forced a three-piece suite into a lift leaving elderly and infirm residents unable to leave their flats at the Castle Walks maisonettes in Flint.

In May, elderly and vulnerable residents living in sheltered accommodation in Isabella Court, Connah’s Quay, were targeted by yobs who stole garden furniture and plant pots.

See full story in the Leader

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