Drug dealers and addicts 'making life hell' for elderly in Camelon flats

Drug dealers and addicts are making life hell for residents of a Falkirk tower block that should be reserved for the elderly, a councillor has claimed.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 3:24 pm

Dennis Goldie says elderly tenants of Greenbank Court, Camelon, have told him there is “definite drug dealing” going on there, leaving some residents too scared to leave their homes.

In recent weeks, residents say they have seen and heard people clearly under the influence of drugs and alcohol in the tower block – including people lying comatose on landings.

The councillor says he is highlighting the issue as Older People’s Champion, whose job is to be a link between the council and older people in the local area.

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Greenbank Court, Camelon

Mr Goldie said: “I am hearing about persons lying comatose in communal areas virtually on a daily basis, and police being involved in taking people into custody, only for them to appear back in the flats a few hours later.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service visited Greenbank Court with Mr Goldie, and several residents confirmed their unhappiness at the situation.

They all said that drug addicts are getting into the flats at all hours of day and night, buzzing doorbells and shouting until someone lets them in.

One pensioner said: “You feel nervous because you don’t know who is going to be in the building.

Councillor Dennis Goldie

“Folks are appearing and if they don’t get in, they just start buzzing – even if it is three o’clock in the morning.

“We used to sit outside with our friends and have a coffee – now we don’t go outside because there are people there drinking.”

Mr Goldie said: “It is making elderly residents very afraid – and certainly afraid to go into lifts, which makes them feel like prisoners unable to leave their homes.”

The residents also say several people on the sex offenders’ register – recently released from prison – are also being given homes in the once-quiet block.

Residents say they are scared to leave their homes because of the drug dealing

Mr Goldie said: “Residents pointed out that everyone who enters the flats has to use the same door, and they have fears for their grandchildren entering or leaving the flats.”

He added: “People living in our high flats appear to have lost faith in the council’s ability, or their desire to address these issues – they also have no belief that the police can in any way resolve these issues.

“My role as Older People’s Champion is to raise issues of concern to our older citizens, so to that end I will be contacting the Director of Housing as it appears to me that the council’s housing department are failing as a landlord in their duty of care to their residents.”

He also plans to contact Police Scotland to discuss their response.

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “We have already written to residents directly to alert them how to report any suspected anti-social behaviour and would encourage them to contact Police Scotland with any concerns by calling 101.

“We are working with Police Scotland to help with their investigations and we are looking at the installation of a CCTV camera to assist in crime prevention.”

Police Scotland confirmed they are aware of the situation and are working with the council to resolve it.

Inspector Andy Tough said: “We remain committed to reducing the impact of drugs on individuals, families and communities across Forth Valley.

“The reasons behind substance misuse are complex and a strong partnership approach is required if we are to provide long-term, sustainable solutions.

“While enforcement action alone is not enough, we will continue to target drug dealers through local and national intelligence gathering as well as operational activity.

“The public have a role to play in this by reporting drugs misuse and associated criminality to us to that we can investigate.

“Concerns should be reported through 101 or your local police station. In an emergency always dial 999.”

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