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Horrific Neighbour

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  • Horrific Neighbour

    Hello, everyone. Here's the story of my Neighbour From Hell who moved into a flat in a shared building over a year ago.

    Within days of this woman moving in with her child, we'd hear her yelling and shouting at her 3-4 year old daughter. I was off work at the time so heard most of it - which would start from about 09:30 in the mornings when she thought most people were out. Then, she moved her boyfriend in and we'd hear indications of appaling abuse being perpetrated in the flat. We actually knocked on their door to find out what was going on when appaling screams were heard - the woman gave us this load of tosh about her daughter having a fever (I've never heard of a fever causing anyone to scream in terror).

    We compiled a diary of evidence to present to the police and social services. We did so and social services came round and were utterly ludicrous in their approach. They came to us first and within minutes their whole focus was not on getting the child to safety, but on how whether the WOMAN was "perhaps depressed" (we retorted that if anyone was depressed it would be the victim of the abuse) and whether she needed any "extra help". They went in, the woman put on a predictable "butter-wouldn't-melt" act and social services filed "case closed". Social Services lived up to every "wooly liberal" steriotype going.

    For the year following, we've heard dreadful screams of terror from the flat (which are often worse when her boyfreind is around) and have had to call the police out again to no tangible effect. The owner of the property apparently cannot take any action.

    To make matters worse, most of the other neighbours disgracefully deny hearing any of this going on. We know for a fact that they must hear it because they were quick to complain about a previous noisy tenant who used to live there. The fact that the apparent abuse takes place with the NFH's window wide open means that the other neighbours must hear it as well. The lot of them are a load of spineles, moral cowards and I just can't understand how they can live with themselves knowing this is going on yet persist in preventing any action being taken with teir constant "I hear nothing" attitude. They now seem to resent us trying to bring this matter to their attention.

    We have got tot he point of considering moving out ourselves now. We can't take this any longer. NOTHING is being done and NOTHING seems to make any difference as NOBODY wants to know.

  • #2
    Hi poster342002 and welcome

    Yours is a very worrying story to think that a child may be in danger and nobody is doing anything :angry:

    Have you contacted the NSPCC about this poor child's situation? Another contact is the Children's Society, they may be able to give some advice too. Social Services may not realise just how bad things are for this child.

    You must start to log all these incidents, there are blank log sheets available on the main site under resources. Contact your local Environmental Health Office and tell them of the noise and your concerns and maybe they can be of some help in the situation.

    I'm sure the others will be along soon and will probably be able to give more advice than me.

    Good Luck :clover:



    • #3

      Thanks for your reply. We did originally contact the NSPCC and they advised us to contact social services. Will try the Children's Society (thanks for the info).

      My impression is that Social Services simply don't WANT to know - it would ruin all their ideological preconceptions if they accepted what was going on. They have certainly made precious little effort to find out beyond seemingly just taking the woman's word for it that nothing's wrong.


      • #4

        how awful!!

        i feel sick thinking about what might be happening to that child. :angry: :angry:

        I know its a dreadful responsibility for you but keep persisting, phoning, calling these agencies until you get someone to listen to you. get onto social services over and over again, call the police 999 as soon as you hear the abuse. tell the police they must come NOW, as you are in fear for someone's life.

        i would think they would be much more sensitive since that awful victoria climbie case. :cry:

        words fail me, surely they looked at the child when they did bother to visit?? arent they are trained to recognise when people are trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

        as for your neighbours, well i hope they can live with their consciences if something did happen.


        I decree today that life

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        Carpe Diem

        Give Yourself to It ~ Sue Gadenne


        • #5

          I think Social Service departments haev learnt only one thing from the Climbie debacle: cover your tracks better. And NEVER back down once a decision is made - to do otherwise would be admitting liability for having got the diagnosis wrong in the beginning. They are often determined never to see anyone as a "bad person" and look for mitigating circumstances to excuse what is happening. I also thinjk much of their reasoning goes like this:

          If they wrongly take a child into care, the parents will sue.

          If they wrongly leave a child in an abusive situation, the child will be unable to sue until they're an adult (if they survive). By then all the officials concrned will have moved on.

          So guess what Social Services' lawyers possibly advise?


          • #6
            Hi poster342002 and welcome to the Forum

            Have you been writing down all the instances that concern you? If not, please start doing so, you can use the NFH in Britain blank sheet here:


            I would suggest that you put your concerns in writing to Social Services (please remember to keep a copy). Just let them know that since their visit this (and enclose a copy of the sheets you have filled in) is what concerns you about your neighbours.

            I'm playing devils advocate here, but it may well be that your neighbours child had a fever, or that the mother is suffering from depression, and/or indeed that she needs help and support. Social Services will (rightly) always try to keep a child with its family - unless it is clearly not safe to do so.

            However, if you have ongoing concerns then you do need to keep informing Social Services - but always do it in writing and always keep a copy.

            I can fully empathise with you that suffering noise from a neighbour is awful, it really gets you down as you never seem to get any respite from it. You never know when it's going to start or stop.

            Have you talked to your neighbour recently about the level of noise from the property? Or could you maybe put something in writing to them? There's a blank letter template to use here:


            You may also find it useful looking at the Self Help Article on coping with nfh:


            Good Luck.


            • #7
              Hi poster342002

              Another thought...what about ringing childline 0800 1111. It's not just for children to ring, adults can ring too, if they think a child may be in danger.



              • #8

                Hi, and thanks for the welcome!

                "I'm playing devils advocate here, but it may well be that your neighbours child had a fever, or that the mother is suffering from depression, and/or indeed that she needs help and support. Social Services will (rightly) always try to keep a child with its family - unless it is clearly not safe to do so."

                I see what you're saying, but I really don't think she can have had a fever almost every other night for a year and a half . And if the woman does suffer depression, that's still no excuse for what seems to be child abuse.

                We'll try calling the other options suggested here, but I can see they'll probably just advise we contact Social Services again. Of course, we'd stand a great deal more of a chance of success if the other neighbours would back us up instead of doing their Hear No Evil, See No Evil act - otherwise the NFH will claim (as they often seem to) that we have got some sort of vendetta against them. I can't stand this "I Just Want A Quiet Life - At Anyone's Cost" attitude they're showing.


                • #9
                  Hi poster242002 and welcome,

                  I recently read somewhere that around 50, yes FIFTY children a year die at the hands of their own parents in their own homes every year! So, firstly let me commend you for your efforts to get help for that poor little mite.

                  I remember in the early 70's a case of a child called Maria Colwell. It received massive publicity and Social Services said that something like that would never happen again. Well it has happened over and over and over again and very few, if any, social workers have been reprimanded.

                  If that child were being abused by a stranger the law would come down like a ton of bricks. There is, I believe, still too much woolly, 60's liberal policies within social services where families are concerned. We have gone from one extreme, where children thought at risk were removed from the home immediately, to the other where children like Victoria Climbie can be left to be tortured to death.

                  Having said that, do you know if the child suffers from any problems such as ADHD, autism, etc? Have you seen any injuries on the child? It must be very distressing for you to hear the child scream so much but there really might be an explanation other than she is being abused. Though from what you say, you seem pretty convinced otherwise. I have read of cases where neighbours, family, friends have reported abuse and nothing was done until the child was finally murdered! And I'm sure you've read of at least one case where neither the mother nor the boyfriend could be charged because they each blamed the other and the police had no concrete evidence to decide who had done it.

                  Do you know if Social Services had the child medically examined? Have you tried recording the screams on audio tape? Perhaps if the police could hear what is going on they might be more inclined to push Social Services to do something.

                  I wish there was some advice I could give that would be of some use. Please don't give up on that little child, it seems that if she is being abused, you are the only hope she has.

                  "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


                  • #10
                    I was also going to suggest recording the noise

                    (Hi again Poster!!)

                    have you ever spoken to the childs mum? i mean since the she has a fever thing!

                    if that child is in danger yes you must report it. saying that why do the other people in your area not want to? it may well be fear, maybe they have come up against this boyfriend or even the mum and lost

                    it is so frustrating when help is not there for people who need it, perhaps you should contact SS again, and maybe remind them of the clmbie case and that this is the second time you have reported it.

                    and ask them how they might react if they do not act and this child is later found in a bin bag

                    if you say this you must remain calm though, if you get all emotive, they may respond in the same way.

                    write it down before you ring or better still write to the SS dept and keep a copy, ask for a response in a certain time period.

                    I read all these stories and just feel like this now :banghead: :angry: :banghead:

                    why do our neighbours act like this? :sad:


                    • #11
                      Hi poster

                      What an awful story.

                      I was going to suggest Childline but someone else has. I would also contact my local councillor and local MP in an effort to get pressure put on Social Services. If your local MP is Labour - this will better. The Government does not want any more "embarassments" concerning child abuse.

                      I note that you think of moving out. Reading between the lines I can not see you doing this in case you subsequently hear that something did happen to the child. What an awful position you are in. You can not rely on other neighbours to help - the deaf ear is so often extremely useful.

                      I wish you the best of luck.

                      "You have to be the change you wish to see in the world"


                      • #12
                        Hi Poster342002

                        For the latest, following the Climbie inquiry, worth a visit to





                        • #13
                          Hi, everyone. Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions. We will see if we can put these into effect. I doubt anything will make the slightest difference however - the Social Services will want to demonstrate how "macho" they can be by ignoring lowly citizens such as oursleves and how nobody can tell THEM what to do once they've made a decision. Once a decision is made - nomatter how wrong - they'll back it up to the end of the earth rather than be seen to "back down" and each higher level of authority will often simply re-endorse the initial decision. From reading others' horror stories on this site, I have to wonder just WHY Local Authorities ALWAYS seem to be hell-bent on backing up the aggressors all the time?

                          My impression is that the child has become extremely traumatised by the attacks, and any "behavioural problems" are probably a symptom of the abuse itself rather than being seperate. Nobody screams "somebody help me" at 3am in the morning without a reason.

                          As for the other neighbours - thankfully ONE of the other tenants appears to be on our side and is also compiling a diary of evidence. The main surrounding neighbours are quite resolute in sticking to their story of feigned ignorance - for reasons which remain unclear. Are they frightened of the abusers? I don't know. These perverts have very few interactions with anyone else - they scurry in and out trying to be inconspicuous. Her boyfriend does indeed look like a real thug, however.

                          As I say in another thread, on top of all this there is ALSO a crack house nearby where ghastly things seem to go on most of the time. We are rapidly reaching the point where we just cannot take any more of this.


                          • #14
                            Hi Poster

                            Hopefully if you follow the procedures laid out in the link sapph gave you should see some results from Social Services.

                            I'm pleased that another neighbour is now compiling evidence too, perhaps if all this went in together with yours you will get a proper response.

                            I hope so. Please let us know how you're getting on with it.


                            • #15
                              I have to say that my son's social worker is excellent. She does only work with children with disabilities, but she has been very supportive when we have needed.

                              We were talking one day and she told me that one of 'her children' had recently been taken into care, because he was being neglected and abused. She told me that it had taken a very long time, as there are certain guidelines that need to be followed. She also said that it had been the biggest decision of her career as technically she was splitting a family. Although this child has a disability, the same procedure has to be followed, as for all children. She did actually tell me a few of the things that a social worker will look for when entering the home of a child, and surprisingly it wasn't the sort of things that I had thought.

                              You will need to be persistant with social services. This child may really want you to 'help her at 3am'. Although you cannot physically go and get her out of there, you will be doing the best you can for her, by not giving up the fight to get someone to listen and do something.