Fearful Falkirk flat tenants say they feel like ‘sitting ducks’

A group of tenants of a block of flats feel Falkirk Council has let them down as they continue to live in fear from a potentially dangerous nuisance neighbour.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 4:49 pm

The residents of Alexander Avenue, in The Bog area of Falkirk, say they have had to endure threats to burn their homes down and stab them with dirty needles, as well as put up with alleged criminal activity at the address for a number of months.

Keiran Cowling (24) said the tenants even got to the stage where they held an “emergency meeting” to discuss the problems being caused by the female resident.

He said: “We feel like we’re sitting ducks – this has been going on since March and we are now into September. Someone is going to get hurt – it will take someone to get stabbed before the council actually do anything about this.”

Tenants, some who have young families, found a dirty needle in the close of the flats and are now urging the council to change the code on the buzzer system so the resident in question’s fob no longer works to allow her – or any of her associates – access to the block.

Keiran said: “They told us if they changed the system they would have to give the woman a new fob because she is still a resident in the building. The council seem to be protecting the minority here and not the majority. They have tenants from five flats who are telling them about this woman and they are failing their tenancy agreement to keep us safe and secure.

“We feel victimised by this person and let down by the council.”

“The council is not coming near us, they don’t want to talk to us,” said another tenant. “They say this is not an housing issue.”

The issue has been referred to the council’s Falkirk Investigation Response and Support Team (FIRST) for conflict resolution, but the resident in question failed to turn up to three meetings – despite receiving a warning notice after each failed appointment.

Keiran and the other tenants say the next stage is to make the woman subject to an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO), but that could take another few months at least to be put in place.

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “While we are unable to provide information on specific circumstances we can say we are fully aware of the concerns raised and have been working with all parties to address the situation.

“We remain in regular contact with all parties and continue to monitor the situation. We would encourage anyone who has concerns regarding drugs in their area to contact Police Scotland on 101, with any other anti-social behaviour being reported to Falkirk Council on (01324) 506070.”

Falkirk MP John McNally said: “I can confirm I have been contacted by the residents of Alexander Avenue regarding this very serious and concerning issue. I am saddened to hear of these sorts of incidents which make people feel unsafe in their own home.

“I have contacted Falkirk Council regarding this issue and sought reassurances from the Council that the safety of the residents is paramount.”