How authorities are dealing with Bolton's nightmare neighbours

Sharon Naughton, principal neighbourhood safety manager for Bolton At Home

The eviction at Campbell Court, Farnworth, which took place in March

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

Crime reporter MIRANDA NEWEY speaks to Bolton at Home staff in the first of a two-part feature on how to deal with nightmare neighbours. This week: anti-social behaviour.

BOLTON at Home bosses are warning tenants they are taking a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour.

Each year the housing association secures injunctions against tenants to protect neighbours from abuse.

People can also have their homes taken from them by Bolton at Home if they are found to be involved in crime, fail to make payments or breach another aspect of their tenancy agreements.

Tess Ash, assistant director of neighbourhood safety at Bolton at Home, said: “Taking possession of a person’s property is not a decision we come to lightly.

“We want the perpetrator to understand the conse-quences and engage in support services to help them change their behaviour.

“Sometimes there are underlying issues, such as drugs and alcohol, or the person might have issues with life skills and they might need support.”

Neighbours will go through mediation to try to resolve problems — but more severe action is taken against people taking part in “corrosive” anti-social behaviour. They risk prosecution and losing their home.

Kim Painter, a lawyer for the housing association, said that when people are taken to court, Bolton at Home has to prove to the judge the person has been given opportunities to “engage” and that taking the home from the tenant is the last resort.

Staff say it is a myth that young people cause the majority of anti-social behaviour incidents, as most of the complaints received are about adults.

These can range from abuse, drug dealing, violence, drug cultivation and loud music.

Bolton at Home was granted an injunction at Bolton County Court in May, banning Carl O’Brien, of Anfield Road, Great Lever, from entering a home on that road and from harassing anyone. He faces arrest if he breaks the injunctions.

Neighbour from hell Lyndsey Glove, of Wilderswood Avenue, Horwich, was evicted from her home after repeatedly disturbing other residents with her anti-social behaviour.

In March, Damian Gaskell, aged 37, and Leanne Davies, aged 29, were thrown out of their Bolton at Home property in Campbell Court, Farnworth, after running into rent arrears. The police had also received a catalogue of complaints about the couple.

People evicted from their homes are referred to Homeless Welfare, who will accommodate them for 28 days. But then they have to find their own place to stay. People will often struggle to get social housing again if they have caused trouble for a former landlord.

Sharon Naughton, principal neighbourhood safety manager at Bolton at Home, said staff liaise with police and other authorities regularly to keep tabs on people who are causing problems and to help reduce crime. She added that action is taken against people who are not creating a safe environment.

Mrs Naughton said: “In all of these cases we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure strong action is taken against these individuals.

“We will not tolerate tenants, or their associates, causing alarm and distress to neighbours and other members of the public.

“We continue to urge anyone who witnesses such behaviour to report it to us, and to the police, so that we can deal with it accordingly and create a safer environment for all our residents to live in.”

  • Next week: Domestic violence and warnings over behaviour during the World Cup.

Comments (9)

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9:17am Wed 4 Jun 14

rostron says...

total tosh !
total tosh ! rostron
  • Score: 7

9:31am Wed 4 Jun 14

cosmicma says...

rostron wrote:
total tosh !
agreed

the reality is people who suffer with neighbours from hell will suffer for years and if there really lucky the offenders will be evicted for other reasons ( rent arrears , drug dealing etc. ) in the mean time neighbours suffer
[quote][p][bold]rostron[/bold] wrote: total tosh ![/p][/quote]agreed the reality is people who suffer with neighbours from hell will suffer for years and if there really lucky the offenders will be evicted for other reasons ( rent arrears , drug dealing etc. ) in the mean time neighbours suffer cosmicma
  • Score: 15

10:12am Wed 4 Jun 14

magic dragon says...

What utter BS. My family were terrorised by a family living in a Bolton at Home property. They assaulted my husband and when charged carried out a 2 year campaign including witness intimidation. Bolton at Home just wrote it all down. When they finally appeared at Bolton Crown Court they were given binding over orders and helped to relocate to Sutton Estate by Bolton at Home. We have since discovered that they were moved from Oldhams Estate, Farnworth and Westhoughton prior to being housed near us. All for the same reasons and each time Bolton at Home rehoused them without eviction. Disgraceful state of affairs. They are now free to wreak havoc on another estate, while we are still terrified everytime a house comes empty near us.
What utter BS. My family were terrorised by a family living in a Bolton at Home property. They assaulted my husband and when charged carried out a 2 year campaign including witness intimidation. Bolton at Home just wrote it all down. When they finally appeared at Bolton Crown Court they were given binding over orders and helped to relocate to Sutton Estate by Bolton at Home. We have since discovered that they were moved from Oldhams Estate, Farnworth and Westhoughton prior to being housed near us. All for the same reasons and each time Bolton at Home rehoused them without eviction. Disgraceful state of affairs. They are now free to wreak havoc on another estate, while we are still terrified everytime a house comes empty near us. magic dragon
  • Score: 15

12:03pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Jim271 says...

Yes, they dump them on us residents of Halliwell along with the immigrants who claim selling the Big Issue and cleaning cars is contributing to Britian.

Its called run down the area and buy up the cheap property and get millions in housing benefits. Sod the people who actually live here. That's why I voted UKIP.

Keep it up but don't complain when the rioting starts during the World Cup.
Yes, they dump them on us residents of Halliwell along with the immigrants who claim selling the Big Issue and cleaning cars is contributing to Britian. Its called run down the area and buy up the cheap property and get millions in housing benefits. Sod the people who actually live here. That's why I voted UKIP. Keep it up but don't complain when the rioting starts during the World Cup. Jim271
  • Score: 1

12:44pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Momag14 says...

UKIP, rioting during the World Cup? WTF are you on about & what does this have to do with this?
UKIP, rioting during the World Cup? WTF are you on about & what does this have to do with this? Momag14
  • Score: 4

2:03pm Wed 4 Jun 14

filthy6 says...

Momag14 wrote:
UKIP, rioting during the World Cup? WTF are you on about & what does this have to do with this?
Perhaps ukip are pulling the team out of playing international competitions.?
[quote][p][bold]Momag14[/bold] wrote: UKIP, rioting during the World Cup? WTF are you on about & what does this have to do with this?[/p][/quote]Perhaps ukip are pulling the team out of playing international competitions.? filthy6
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Momag14 says...

Bolton at Home & other housing providers are not the police... They are simply doing the best with what the courts recommend as a punishment for the offenders ALSO it doesn't help that the courts don't back housing associations to evict problem families because unfortunately we have a duty of care! Less cuts to police, pcso's and multi agency working is what troubled communities need!
Bolton at Home & other housing providers are not the police... They are simply doing the best with what the courts recommend as a punishment for the offenders ALSO it doesn't help that the courts don't back housing associations to evict problem families because unfortunately we have a duty of care! Less cuts to police, pcso's and multi agency working is what troubled communities need! Momag14
  • Score: 5

4:27pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Miltzy says...

Momag14 wrote:
Bolton at Home & other housing providers are not the police... They are simply doing the best with what the courts recommend as a punishment for the offenders ALSO it doesn't help that the courts don't back housing associations to evict problem families because unfortunately we have a duty of care! Less cuts to police, pcso's and multi agency working is what troubled communities need!
Wheres bolton at homes duty of care to the residents who don't cause trouble? They may as well not bother with police and pcso's, they do absolutely nothing only make matters seem insignificant. If everyone did there job, websites like Neighbours From Hell In Britain wouldn't be needed.
[quote][p][bold]Momag14[/bold] wrote: Bolton at Home & other housing providers are not the police... They are simply doing the best with what the courts recommend as a punishment for the offenders ALSO it doesn't help that the courts don't back housing associations to evict problem families because unfortunately we have a duty of care! Less cuts to police, pcso's and multi agency working is what troubled communities need![/p][/quote]Wheres bolton at homes duty of care to the residents who don't cause trouble? They may as well not bother with police and pcso's, they do absolutely nothing only make matters seem insignificant. If everyone did there job, websites like Neighbours From Hell In Britain wouldn't be needed. Miltzy
  • Score: 6

6:43pm Wed 4 Jun 14

SharonNaughton says...

Bolton at Home adopt a triple track approach which encompasses early intervention and prevention; non negotiable support and strong enforcement action therefore I would urge residents to report crime and disorder to the appropriate authorities. Your information will be treated in the strictest of confidence but to act at the earliest opportunity we need a commitment from residents to help us help you through the completion of incident diaries and if necessary we can present your evidence at court on your behalf without identifying you as the reporter. Without this evidence it is true residents may suffer longer than desired. Bolton at Home work within a legal framework and any resident who genuinely believes we have failed them are welcome to contact me directly via Bolton at Home's contact centre 01204 32 8000.
I would suggest though that the use of foul language constitutes anti social behaviour or the use of language which could be perceived as motivated by hostility against a persons race or ethnicity could constitute a hate incident as noted on some of the earlier comments.
Bolton at Home adopt a triple track approach which encompasses early intervention and prevention; non negotiable support and strong enforcement action therefore I would urge residents to report crime and disorder to the appropriate authorities. Your information will be treated in the strictest of confidence but to act at the earliest opportunity we need a commitment from residents to help us help you through the completion of incident diaries and if necessary we can present your evidence at court on your behalf without identifying you as the reporter. Without this evidence it is true residents may suffer longer than desired. Bolton at Home work within a legal framework and any resident who genuinely believes we have failed them are welcome to contact me directly via Bolton at Home's contact centre 01204 32 8000. I would suggest though that the use of foul language constitutes anti social behaviour or the use of language which could be perceived as motivated by hostility against a persons race or ethnicity could constitute a hate incident as noted on some of the earlier comments. SharonNaughton
  • Score: 8

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