May 19 2013 Latest news:
Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Friday, March 8, 2013
»Gangs are smoking cannabis and going to the toilet in the corridors of flats in Woodford Green because the front door has been broken for more than a year, say residents.
The metal front door to the block of 28 flats has been repeatedly vandalised.
Sue Jackson, 53, says she raised the problem with housing association Home Group in January 2012.
She said the door was briefly fixed in June but for the rest of the time has remained broken.
The lock does not hold and the fob entry system does not work so anyone can gain access.
Mrs Jackson said: “Someone tried to get into my flat. My neighbour’s door has been vandalised.
“There are people coming in and smoking cannabis. There was a vagrant who came in and slept in the corridor.
“You can smell the cannabis in the communal areas. The smell makes you nauseous and you vomit.
“It does make me feel less safe.”
She wants a metal plate placed over the lock to prevent people from breaking it.
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said gangs of five to 10 people in their 20s smoke cannabis in the lifts and entrance to the lifts and use both areas as a toilet.
He said: “I don’t know what kind of repairs they’ve done but each time it’s been done, it’s broken. It’s broken by gangs that live around here.
“They will stand on the stairs and you have to chase them away.”
Nicki Burton, Home Group’s customer service manager, said: “A communal door at one of our properties in Woodford Green has been subjected to repeated criminal damage.
“We’ve repaired the lock on each occasion it has been reported to us.
“We’re in the process of sourcing a new door which will be more robust and will provide greater security for all our customers.
“We are also working with the police and other agencies to tackle vandalism at the property”.
A Home Group spokesman said the door will be replaced “as soon as practicable” but was unable to give a date.