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Families living in a London estate described as a “death-trap” say they’re too scared to use the lifts and take out their bins because drug addicts use them as toilets.
Dad-of-one Faraz Ahmed said that he’s been trying to leave the Millard Terrace estate in Dagenham, London, after living there for five years because of the amount of “creepy people” terrorising the estate.
"My [seven-year-old] daughter doesn't like to go outside, she's scared in the evening. She sees so many creepy people. When they're addicted or on drugs, you can see it in their face”, he told theLocal Democracy Reporting Service.
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Faraz said that people who use the lifts as a makeshift toilet do not live in the building because they don't care about the impact it has on residents.
"They do it in the lifts, they can't hold it, they just do it in the lifts. When you're in the lift you can see and smell it – they don't care”, he said.
Authorities have also noticed the problem, with the Met Police sending officers to patrol the estate every day after a court order was granted for Dagenham Heathway and the estate in December 2022.
A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesperson told the LDRS under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, police have extra powers and can arrest anyone hanging around Millard Terrace "without a reasonable excuse".
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Anyone who identifies themselves as homeless is referred to support services and is asked to leave the estate, the spokesperson added.
Fatmata Sesay-Attah, a mental health nurse who also lives on the estate, told the LDRS that she feels “stuck” in the rancid estate because of London’s skyrocketing property market.
She said that she sometimes has to take a different flight of stairs because she finds homeless people blocking the stairwells. She said: "You go down the stairs and sometimes you [have to] go on the other side because homeless people are sitting down there, drinking and urinating as they have no toilet to go to.
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“They will find a corner and wee, people are shouting and fighting – it's so bad. I'm not on the dole; Every month I'm paying for this house and I'm paying for this council tax, but they are disturbing my peace. I have no peace, it's disgusting living here”.
A spokesperson for Barking and Dagenham Council told the LDRS: “Our enforcement officers and caretaking teams are on-site daily to deal with any antisocial behaviour and to tidy up the communal areas and respond to reports made to us regarding fly-tipping or damage".
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