Bad neighbours make situation impossible
A friend of mine has been having trouble with his neighbours. They moved in about two years ago. First of all they were just annoying. There were so many of them, parents and grandparents and a multitude of siblings and their spouses, plus children. A real extended family.
They were always coming in and out, shouting and banging doors. They did everything at full volume, using the foulest of language.
Later they became more aggressive. They began threatening him. They smashed his front window and wedged something against his back door so that he couldn’t get out. They nailed his back gate shut and threw a bucket of rotten eggs over him.
Well these were assaults, weren’t they? My friend became frightened and phoned the police.
It took over two and a half hours for the police to arrive. When they eventually did get there they said there was nothing they could do.
My friend has felt trapped ever since. He is a disabled person. He has epilepsy and is on medication. Stress and anxiety tend to bring on his fits. He daren’t go out in case he meets them and they start the abuse again.
He feels like a prisoner in his own home, always having to check before he can step out of his front door. He has been forced to get a CCTV system, which has put him into debt.
He has lived here for 21 years and never had trouble with his neighbours before. Now here’s the thing: he lives on one of the council estates. He’s complained to the council and asked to be moved, but there is no available housing.
He’s tried getting a house swap, but no one has shown any interest. What this brings to light is the state of council housing in the UK today. Only the very vulnerable, and the most anti-social, are being housed: hence the impossible situation my friend finds himself in, as an epileptic, prone to anxiety, living next door to violent bullies.
Whatever happened to the “homes fits for heroes” of the post-war period, that’s what I’d like to know? We sold them off for a mess of pottage.
From The Whitstable Gazette 21/09/17
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