People are so afraid of nightmarish neighbors that they have asked councilors and housing officials not to take action if it makes matters worse, a councilman said.
Conservative councilwoman Dawn Barnett, who represents the township of Hangleton and Knoll, spoke out about anti-social behavior at a housing management board meeting at Hove Town Hall.
Cllr Barnett said: “The neighbors are scared. They come to me – and I’ve never been allowed up there because the neighbors say to me, ‘They know why you’re up here and that makes it worse for us.’”
She said they needed to talk on the phone about the “big problems” with drug dealers on “the top of Hangleton,” which was alarming their neighbors.
Cllr Barnett said: “Residents can hear the drug dealers ordering their drugs: ‘I’ll have a kilo of this and so much of it’.
“It scares the neighbors to think that this is going on in their house.
“We have another generation of kids growing up with drug dealers like this. Maybe they’ll pay the kids to turn them in, and we’ve got another bunch of kids on the drug scene.
“More needs to be done to get officials and police officers to talk about it.”
Housing official Janet Dowdell said people’s fear means Brighton and Hove City Council’s hands are tied because court orders are needed to end some leases, close properties and issue injunctions.
She said: “We cannot go to court without evidence. I totally understand why people don’t want to stand up and say, ‘Yes, I’ll sign a testimony.’
“They live next door to drug dealers. This is exactly what brings us to court. The best proof is a statement.
Ms. Dowdell added, “We’ve had people say, ‘I don’t want you to go near them.’
“So our hands are tied. We can then not ask people about their behavior and warn them.”
Another housing officer, Justine Harris, told residents there had been some success in East Brighton on the Craven Vale estate.
Neighbors there came forward and provided testimony, leading to police closing down a nightmare neighbor’s apartment three months after they moved in.
A new policy on anti-social behavior is due to go to the housing committee next month for approval – a policy Ms Harris called “more victim-centred”.
The Housing Committee meets on Wednesday 18 January at 4pm in Hove Town Hall. The meeting will be webcast on the Council’s website.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23195405.brighton-hove-council-told-problem-drug-dealers-hangleton/?ref=rss Brighton and Hove Council reported on the problem of drug dealers in Hangleton