Drug addicts and dealers continue to cause issues for elderly in Falkirk flats
Elderly residents in a Falkirk tower block say their lives continue to be made a misery by anti-social behaviour, including drug dealing.
Tenants and their relatives have voiced safety concerns and claim Falkirk Council is not doing enough to tackle the problem.
And one councillor has said that the high flats are “a lost cause” and claimed the local authority was not managing the problem properly.
However, both council officials and the SNP administration say that there have been improvements since the issues in Greenbank Court were highlighted four months ago.
At that time residents said their live was made “hell” by drug dealing on the common landings.
The council said they would install CCTV in the area in a bid to tackle the issue and encouraged residents to call police if they saw any criminality or had concerns.
Police also increased patrols in the area.
But now some residents are saying it has made little difference.
Kaye Balfour, whose 84-year-old father lives in the block, said: “Things are getting progressively worse. These flats were made for over 60 year olds to give them security and peace of mind.
“But unfortunately, this is not the case. Falkirk Council has let these tenants down big time and all the promises they made last year have not happened.”
One resident said there had been no improvement and every time she left her home she was concerned who she would meet in the lift or in the communal areas.
She added: “There are drug addicts coming in because people are dealing in these flats. You never know who is going to come into the building.
"I’ve been here eight years and in recent years it has become terrible.
"We need permanent cameras in the foyer so there is a record of people coming in and out of the building.”
Councillor Dennis Goldie, who is the council’s Older People’s Champion, has been in regular contact with residents.
He said: “I’m sorry to have to say it but the high flats, particularly Greenbank Court, are a lost cause.
"I’m really concerned for those living in them and their concerns show that the council is not managing these buildings properly.
"Many of these people have lived here a long time and shouldn’t have to put up with this.”
Councillor Gordon Hughes, the SNP administration’s housing spokesperson, said: “I attended two public meetings last year at Parkfoot Court where residents of Greenbank Court were also in attendance. The meetings were important, constructive and helpful for residents
“Council staff were also in attendance and they were briefed by residents on their concerns regarding ongoing anti–social behaviour and criminality. Housing staff have responded and I am pleased that the introduction of CCTV has had a good and positive effect with residents.
“It is reassuring to note that the measures introduced to tackle the issues raised by residents have resulted in reported issues being reduced.”
A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “Mobile CCTV was placed at Greenbank Court following concerns and reports to ourselves and the Police from residents regarding ongoing anti-social behaviour and criminal activity. The CCTV along with other measures appear to have had a positive impact with residents highlighting that things have improved.
“In general, the number of reported issues to relevant services/agencies has reduced.”