Falkirk high flats: New moves to tackle anti-social behaviour
Mobile CCTV, community wardens and the police will all be used to help tackle concerns over anti-social behaviour raised by elderly residents of Falkirk’s high flats.
The flats, which had traditionally been reserved for those over 60, have now been made available to younger council tenants, a move which has led to anxiety among existing residents.
In particular it has led to claims of drug dealing that is bringing anti-social behaviour to the flats, in particular Greenbank Court in Camelon where some elderly residents have said they are scared to leave their homes.
At a special meeting, which was open to all of the area’s council tenants’ groups, saw residents urge councillors and a senior member of the housing team to look again at its housing policies.
The meeting was called by Sharron Linton of Symington Drive Residents’ Association, who is worried about the effect housing policy is having on communities.
A senior housing officer attended to explain more about the council’s allocations policy and the legal requirements it has to meet.
While the only residents groups who attended were those from the flats directly affected, Sharron was pleased the issues had been raised.
“I felt we got the chance to put our points over and they have promised to come back to us in six weeks time,” she said.
Several councillors also attended including the leader of Falkirk Council, Cecil Meiklejohn, housing convener Gordon Hughes and Older People’s Champion Dennis Goldie.
Speaking after the meeting, Cecil Meiklejohn, said it had been constructive.
She said: “What we were able to discuss is a number of actions that can be take forward to address the issues that have been raised which included the use of our mobile CCTV.
“And now that restrictions have eased there is the ability for housing officers to do more face-to-face engagement with tenants particularly in the high flats.
“It has been recognised that not being able to have housing officers out and about as they would normally be over the last 18 months has had an impact and will look to re-establish that tenant officer relationship again as quickly as possible.”
The meeting also heard that community wardens have been deployed and a meeting has been held with Police Scotland.
The council’s conflict resolution service have also been in touch with residents, providing contact details in the hope of encouraging reporting of incidents of anti social behaviour.
Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “A housing officer attended the meeting to hear the concerns raised by residents.
“We are committed to ensuring everyone feels safe in their community and in their home and we will continue to work with our partner agencies, such as Police Scotland, to resolve any anti-social behaviour issues.
“We will continue to engage with the community to address concerns and necessary action will be taken against all forms of anti-social behaviour.”
Previously, Falkirk Council said they had 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.