Increase council funding/powers to protect children from antisocial neighbours
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For six years my family endured persistent antisocial behaviour from our neighbours. This behaviour disrupted the lives of my children - babies at the time - and has had a long-lasting detrimental effect on my youngest son's health and wellbeing.
Our neighbours were able to hurt my family for so long because the process for collecting evidence and prosecuting is extremely time consuming. For example:
- Police do not respond. All grievances must be sent to the council's environmental health team.
- Environmental health call centre is understaffed. We contacted them last month - October 2017 - and it took 8 days for a response.
- When a disruption occurs, it takes up to an hour for a member of call centre staff to return your call. It can then take up to another hour for an environmental health officer to get out of bed and drive from their home to yours. In our case, officers lived 20 miles away from us.
- Environmental health officers still had to call out the police most of the time. This means if a disturbance began at 2am, it would often be between 4 and 5am before police arrived on the scene.
- Names and identities of a ALL occupants of a household should be taken each time a disturbance is recorded. When our neighbours broke their noise abatement order, they were easily able to avoid prosecution by producing a fake alibi.
- If children's lives are disrupted, then all efforts should be stepped up to protect them. Two incidences of antisocial behaviour should be sufficient for a noise abatement notice. One further incidence MUST lead to prosecution.
- Council departments MUST talk to each other. Two of the people disrupting our lives were council employees and both of them worked with children.
Read my full story: HERE
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