Petition to: provide permanent higher security for Brent Court and its residents.

This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.

We the undersigned petition Stevenage Borough Council to provide permanent higher security for Brent Court and its residents.

Petition update from the council, 19 March 2014

Re: Petition on Brent Court Issues

Thank you for the petition that you have submitted on behalf of the residents of Brent Court. I am sorry that you are experiencing the difficulties that you have outlined.

Briefly, in your petition you have stated that the main concerns for residents in Brent Court were:

• that people were drug dealing within the block.
• a resident of Brent Court had been seriously assaulted and no action had been taken.
• non-residents were getting into the block to take drugs and sleep in the refuse rooms.
• Finally, residents were concerned that young people were gathering in the garage areas causing anti-social behaviour (ASB).

I am told that on the 25th November 2013, you and Miss Cove, the Chair of Brent Court tenants and residents association met with Evert Robotham, the Anti-Social Behaviour Manager and Antonio Silverion, the ASB officer and gave more details on the above issues.

During the meeting you also made a number of suggestions, which they agreed to consider before reporting back to you and other residents. I gather that in order to address your issues, you wanted Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) to consider:

• Installing key pad on the bin chute room doors
• Re-progamming all the key fob codes ( to prevent anyone using lost or fraudulently obtained ones)
• Making the rear fire exit doors more secure
• Making the laundry room fire exit door more secure
• Install stronger entrance doors
• Introducing 24hr security, even if only for a temporary period.

I understand that Antonio Silverio and an officer from the local police team visited you later on the 25 November 2013 and explained what evidence the police or Council would require to take enforcement action. I believe that they also advised that residents should complete incident log sheets and return them to Antonio Silverio.

Since the meeting we have made significant progress on the issues above and I can now provide an update.

• The Police carried out an operation where they patrolled the area surrounding the Brent Court, stopped and questioned people entering the block. They also carried out a number of searches on suspect premises. By implementing this operation the police were able to deter people from dealing or using drugs in the common parts of the block.

• In addition, several individuals identified as known rough sleepers were prevented from entering the block. As part of their patrols, the police were able to prevent any anti-social behaviour incidents by young people in and around the garage area.

• Whilst the police were monitoring the block they did not directly witness any incidents which either they or Stevenage Borough Council could take enforcement action. Although the police are currently looking into a number of addresses in the block where they have had allegations of drug dealing and they will let us know the outcome once they have completed their investigations.

• The police have recently identified an individual who was responsible for carrying out a very serious attack on a Brent Court resident. The Council has been told that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the individual and once he has been apprehended, we will be able to give more information.

• We have also reviewed our records and have noted that over the last six months we have investigated 8 cases from Brent Court and took the following actions:
2 drugs allegations – no proof and information was passed to the Police
2 cases were opened on the same individual who was subsequently evicted.
1 case was passed to the Family Intervention Project.
1 person was charged for by-passing the electric meter. But was found not guilty and therefore no further action could be taken.
1 case related to a parking dispute
1 case was in respect of threatening behaviour, which was resolved with the resident signing an Acceptable Behaviour Agreement.

• We have discussed the re-programming of the entrance door key fob and the introduction of key pads on the refuse chute doors with the Asset Management team, the Mechanical & Electrical team. The technical teams are due to consider the costs of implementing the two systems, but will not be able to do so until April 2014, when new budgets are allocated.

• The project officer from the Asset Management team inspected the fire exit doors as well as the entrance door to Brent Court. In his opinion, the doors all conform to current industry standards, but the problem is that some people are not using the doors appropriately.

• If we are able to install the new key pad and re-programmed the door entry system we will have to involve our Home Ownership Services team. This team is responsible for making sure that any leaseholder consultation is carried out and that any works commissioned are done in accordance with the relevant practices to enable the Council to recover any costs from leaseholders. I have asked the ASB manager to keep you informed of any progress on these items.

I am also aware that our Resident Involvement team have also been involved in this project and they arranged two meetings with residents to provide feedback on the steps that the police and the Council have taken to address the issues that you raised.

The meeting were held on the 13 March 2014, one during the day and the other in the evening so that all residents could have a choice of which meeting to attend. I am told that the consensus of the meeting was that the issues relating to anti-social behaviour had improved. However, several residents reported that there was a big problem with people throwing items out of the block and people had started coming back into the block to take drugs.

I am told by the ASB Manager that we did consider using security patrols in the early stages of the project, but initially wanted to use the police patrols as this would not have any direct cost implications.

Whilst the police were patrolling they were able to prevent many of the incidents from occurring. We are now proposing to implement security patrols for a two week period to try and gather direct evidence of the new allegations that residents have made. The ASB Manager will let you know when the patrols are to be put in place.

Current signatories

Ms M Clements, the petition creator, joined by:

  • 108 offline signatures