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Estate from HELL

PUBLISHED: 18:21 24 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 12 August 2010

DRUG dealers, aggressive pit bull terriers, fly-tipping and violence are plaguing an estate and making life a living hell , according to residents. They claim drunks are sleeping outside their doors, people are urinating in their laundry room and addi

DRUG dealers, aggressive pit bull terriers, fly-tipping and violence are plaguing an estate and making life a living "hell", according to residents.

They claim drunks are sleeping outside their doors, people are urinating in their laundry room and addicts are banging on their windows throughout the night.

In one terrifying incident, a resident said she had a gun pointed in her face after she asked someone to clean up dog mess their pet left in her garden.

People living in Calverley Close in Beckenham say the housing association which owns their homes, English Churches Housing Group (ECHG) and the managing agents Riverside are doing nothing to curtail the demise of their estate and that they no longer feel safe there.

At a packed and heated meeting last Thursday, scores of angry and frustrated residents questioned three representatives from ECHG and Riverside about how they planned to improve the situation.

The room erupted in applause when Lorraine Fuller, 36, told them: "You don't live here. You don't care. You'll go home to your mortgaged homes while we live in this cr*p. I'm going to go out on the streets and get assaulted but you don't care. Why can't you just see?"

ECHG Assistant Director of Property Services, Olajide Akintelure, smirked when Ms Fuller said: "You look so bored like you've got somewhere better to be. You may as well say to us go home and watch EastEnders, go and get on with your little lives, because do you know what? I'd actually respect you more for that."

Grandmother Christine Leary, 60, who has lived on the Calverley estate for over 30 years, recalled how it was once a nice place to live. She said: "It was lovely in the beginning. Adults and children all got on together. It started getting bad about 10 years ago. The anti-social behaviour is really affecting the elderly people. It's making their lives hell. It's not safe anymore. I used to leave my door unlocked but now I carry an alarm with me."

Police have been called to the road 53 times in the last year. In August last year officers found shotgun cartridges and knives at one property but there was insufficient evidence to press charges. Other occasions include domestic incidents, violent attacks, thefts, street drinking and sexual assaults.

Tenants also claim that dog fights between pit bull terriers have been taking place on the estate.

One resident said: "They make them fight each other in the corridors. One time there was blood all over the walls."

A spokesperson for Riverside, said: "We haven't had any reports of drug use from our tenants and we are not aware of any evidence of drug use on the estate. We are aware of one man that sleeps in the stairwells and we are taking action with social services.

"We are not aware of any evidence of dog fighting and we have not had any incidents of dog nuisance reported to us but we will investigate the allegations made in the meeting. Our tenants have to seek permission from us to keep dogs on the estate and as such we hold records for all those who have sought permission.

A Bromley police spokesperson said: "The Copers Cope Safer Neighbourhood Team is aware of the issues at this particular location and is working with members of the community to address them. We would encourage residents to engage with them."

The SNT can be contacted on 020 8721 2772 or 07766 804406.

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