Terrified residents living in a “disgusting” tower block have claimed they live in constant fear of getting stabbed, with blood often smeared on the walls and groups of youths urinating in the stairwell.
Some of those living in Bournville tower block in Bournville, Birmingham say they are too scared to leave their homes and have described living conditions as a “nightmare”.
Schoolkids are often seen smoking cannabis, residents have claimed, while ‘cocaine addicts’ harass neighbours to buy stolen goods for their next drug hit, BirminghamLive reports.
One 28-year-old resident, who was too scared to be named, said the tower block is blighted by ’24/7′ anti-social behaviour.
“There’s blood on the walls, the stair landing, the alleyway to get onto the landing,” she said.
“It’s absolutely disgusting, it’s terrible, it’s a nightmare, I wouldn’t even expect a dog to live in this place.
“We pay £12 a month each for caretakers. They cleaned a little bit, but they don’t want to touch it.”
The woman claimed drug users are ‘taking cocaine more than ever’ and harass neighbours for whatever cash they can get their hands on.
“People are really worried about leaving their flats at the moment,” she explains.
“They’re worried about going to work or leaving their wives with the kids because the [addicts] are shoplifting like there’s no tomorrow, always trying to sell you this, that and the other.
“They try and sell all sorts, you name it; alcohol, curtains, anything they can possibly grab from local shops, like Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl.
“They’ll try to sell it for half the price, but if they’re rattling, dying for their drugs, they’ll sell it for even less.”
Shockingly, the resident revealed that she was once forced to dial 999 after a boy was robbed at knife point over drugs inside the Abdon Avenue high rise.
The youths, who “all carry knives and smoke cannabis in their school uniform”, have smashed windows and kicked out people’s doors too, she explains.
The woman added that there are daily parties thrown in some of the flats in the tower block, and when she once confronted a group she was threatened.
“They all party at each other’s flats, it’s every night, every day. There’s one who goes around encouraging the schoolkids to come in,” she said.
“They try to burn the block, they smash the windows, they’ve done loads. They’ve been aggressive, they’ve tried to rush me on the stairs because they’ve urinated in the block.
“I confronted them. I said ‘have some respect because none of you live here’. As soon as you confront them, they don’t like it because they’re in a group. I asked them to go and things got a bit heated.
“They were in attack mode. I went downstairs and I actually got a wooden stick because there were 12-14 of them, and only one of me – and they’ve got knives.”
Knife crime is also an issue in the area, the woman explained, and in November she witnessed a robbery involving a young boy.
“One of the kids got robbed over drugs. They brought some drugs then they got robbed at knife point. It all kicked off, there were so many of them,” the woman recalled.
“The residents got involved to get them out. We’ve got children in this block, disabled people. I rang the police that day.
“They were all rushing onto the landing and it was all kicking off, we didn’t know if someone was getting stabbed.
“I’m worried about the safety, we could end up getting stabbed.”
The woman, who is taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills, also claims there are rats around the tower block, while people throw rubbish from the windows. Used needles are often dumped on the grass outside, the woman added.
She said the area used to be ‘lovely’ and ‘beautiful’, but now dog walkers and pensioners on their daily runs actively avoid going anywhere near the block.
“All the regulars they have changed their routines, the dog walkers all meet at a certain time because of these youths and because they don’t want to be harassed going to the shop,” the woman said.
In response to the woman’s claims, Birmingham City Council has said it is working with the tower block’s caretaker to address the issues.
A statement from the authority said: “The Birmingham City Council Housing Officer covering Bournville Tower is working in conjunction with the estate caretaker to address the issues in relation to the block.
“Incidents of anti social behaviour are taken seriously and we are working closely with residents and the relevant agencies to resolve the concerns raised.”
West Midlands Police also announced it has stepped up patrols in the Abdon Avenue area.
Sgt Simon Wheeler, from Northfield Constituency, West Midlands Police, confirmed officers are now patrolling the Abdon Avenue area more frequently.
“Our local Weoley Castle team are investigating on-going issues of anti-social behaviour and crimes in the Abdon Avenue area, following reports by residents,” he said.
Sgt Wheeler added: “Our team are also working closely with staff at Birmingham City Council, and we are arranging a joint visit by officers, the local housing officers and other partners, to establish what can be done to tackle the problems being reported to us.
“Officers are also aware of a number of neighbour disputes and the local team is liaising with council staff to address those issues and put any necessary interventions in place.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.