Falkirk Council housing: Neighbourhood Watch plan for 'problem' tower blocks

Residents in two Falkirk tower blocks are being encouraged to join a new Neighbourhood Watch group to help stamp out anti-social behaviour issues.

Monday, 17th January 2022, 12:31 pm

Elderly and vulnerable people living in Greenbank Court and Glenfuir Court have complained in recent months about problems with some tenants, including claims of drug dealing and drinking in common areas.

Now John Hosie, the community safety engager with the Lottery-funded Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill project, is working to engage with residents and encourage them to work with partners, including Falkirk Council and Police Scotland to tackle any issues arising in the multi-storey blocks and surrounding areas.

John said: “We want to make people aware that there are positive things being planned as part of our community safety strategy.

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John Hosie, Community Safety Engager for Camelon and Tamfourhill

"We are keen to set up a Neighbourhood Watch which involves community partnership working.

"It’s not about being a twitchy curtains person or grassing your neighbours, it’s all about giving people confidence to report issues that concern them and get involved in discussions about how we can all work together to deal with them.”

Over four months ago The Falkirk Herald highlighted residents’ concerns over people clearly under the influence of drugs and alcohol in Greenbank Court – including people lying comatose on landings.

In response, Falkirk Council introduced mobile CCTV and used its conflict resolution service to help tackle the issue, while Police Scotland increased patrols.

Greenbank Court where residents have concerns about anti-social behaviour

Last week, the local authority said the situation had improved but some residents feel not enough has been done.

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Drug addicts and dealers continue to cause issues for elderly in Falkirk flats

But John said the new proposal gives people the opportunity to be involved in tackling any problems on their doorstep.

He added: “Where there are already Neighbourhood Watch groups set up, people feel more empowered to do things as well as having the confidence to report things that are troubling them.

"The key part of any community safety strategy is local people and partners all working together. It will also be a forum where people can get advice on issues and know where to go to seek help.”

The initial plan is to hold a stakeholders meeting and then a public meeting which tenants can attend once social distancing guidelines allow.

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