Drug dealing rife in Stevenage flats, says former police officer


- Credit: Archant

People in one of Stevenage’s largest apartment blocks say their lives are being blighted by residents using and dealing drugs.

A tenant at Monument Court in Woolners Way has recently been evicted from the property after she was found to be committing drugs offences and, at another flat in the same block, Herts police executed a warrant earlier this month after information was received about drug activity.

Sam Wood, a former police officer, has a flat in Monument Court. She said: “The people being invited into the block for drug deals have kicked the front door in and it’s remained damaged for more than six weeks. The building is not secure and anybody could just come in.

“My neighbour saw someone drug dealing right outside my flat. There are young families living there. Most of the tenants are really good people and are at their wits’ end.”

Sam has been lodging with a friend and says she will not move back into her flat until the problem is dealt with.

She said: “It’s absolutely horrendous. Drugs are rife and I’m certainly not living there.

“We’ve called the police many times but, because police numbers have dwindled dramatically, they can’t do anything. How many phone calls and unanswered emails do we have to make? Nobody gets back to me.”

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Another resident, Vicki Inwood, added: “Residents are filming drug deals, there’s constant shouting at night and there is damage to the building. Residents are scared.”

Herts Police’s neighbourhood inspector, Simon Tabert, said: “Much work has been done by officers and local agencies to address the issue of suspected drugs activity in and around Monument Court.

“Neighbourhood officers are working with landlords, housing associations, Stevenage Borough Council and residents to tackle drug crime in this area. They will continue to act upon intelligence they receive and I would like to reassure residents that we do take these allegations seriously and do act upon information provided. However, successful drugs operations need planning, so just because we have not acted immediately, do not think that we are not acting at all.”

A spokesman for Aldwyck Housing Group, which manages Monument Court, said: “We take all reports of anti-social behaviour seriously.

“We have been working closely with the police and speaking to the customer to ensure they are aware that anti-social behaviour is in breach of their tenancy agreement. We have seen a reduction in reports since this course of action has been taken, however if someone is aware of more breaches taking place then we would ask them to get in touch with us with as much information about the incident as possible.

“A member of our repairs team visited Monument Court on the day we received the initial report about the door. To fix the door we required some specialist equipment and have been waiting on the parts which have now been received. The door repair has taken place.”