Tenants too scared to report drug dealing at Brighton flats

Tenant reps said that people on two estates were too afraid to report drug dealing and anti-social behaviour to police and housing officials despite having raised concerns at community meetings.

At Robert Lodge, in Whitehawk Road, neighbours were concerned about rumours of “cuckoos”, drug dealers who move into a vulnerable person’s home.

But no complaints have been made to Brighton and Hove City Council housing department since the issue came up at a council housing panel in October.

Residents were asked to keep diaries, logging details to help the housing team take action.

But a report to the east area housing panel, which is due to meet on Monday (16 December), said: “Many residents, especially those who are elderly, are too scared to report incidents of anti-social behaviour or to be seen to be doing so.

“They are even too scared to have visits from housing officers or the police for fear of repercussions.

“The meeting felt that housing could be doing more to listen to the information provided to them by residents and then to collect evidence in a way that will not impact on or implicate elderly or vulnerable residents who are being affected by anti-social behaviour.”

Housing manager Richard Jordan-Penswick responded to requests for CCTV saying that the council would use it as evidence if it was legally able to.

He said: “The housing service is keenly aware that victims of nuisance can often be too scared to give evidence in legal proceedings and cases frequently go forwards with evidence presented in an anonymised form with no identifying information.

“The service operates enhanced service standards to victims of nuisance in order to both provide support and to keep individuals informed of progress.”

People living in flats in Horton Road have kept diaries but felt that not enough was being done to deal with anti-social behaviour and drug taking.

A report to the north area panel after a residents’ meeting said: “The blocks are cleaned once a week but the debris and urine quickly build up again.

“The police are aware of the problems with drug dealing in these blocks and some tenants known to be dealing have had their flats raided.

“This doesn’t seem to result in any action being taken against tenants who are clearly in contravention of their tenancy agreement.”

Community engagement manager Sam Warren responded in writing, saying that no complaints had been received and that the cleaning teams had found nothing.

The response said: “Our estates services team have confirmed that they have seen no signs of drug use, urine or anti-social behaviour of any kind during the past two months since this were raised as an issue.

“This team will always record the discovery of sharp or drug paraphernalia.”

The panel meeting was told that a resident had cleaned up the block on a daily basis.

Head of housing Ododo Dafe asked tenant reps to ask residents to call the council rather than clean up themselves so that the council had evidence.

She said: “I am concerned a resident is cleaning up drug paraphernalia and would much prefer it if we could send in the relevant officers and safety equipment.”

Residents were asked to take photographs as evidence if they spotted drug paraphernalia.

Tenant reps in Hollingdean are organising a neighbourhood meeting with housing officials and police community support officers (PCSOs).

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    I recall delivering leaflets to Conway Court in Hove and there saw a notice on one door: the drug dealer no longer lives here.

  2. Jake Reply

    The police dont care they know who it is i have lived in whithark for 21 years and they are the same people.that are robbing students hanging around in big groups and every one noice who ther are by names and can report them and watch them get arrested just to b let out ones agine it joke i can name at least hand full of the them they have no respect for no one . 6 teenages kick my fraind door in twice in one week whith knifes to take hes xboxs 1 and valuables even after he was on the phone to the police they stay still kicking down the door for 20 mins hes 44 year old disabled man u is now scared to leave is house

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