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  • Damage to Vehicles


    I have been a member for some time now and have read some of the problems others have experienced & would now like to share my story.

    My daughter has grown up and left home so I live on my own in a council house. For the past 5 years I have had problems with children playing football outside my property.

    To date I have had 5 smashed wing mirrors on my car, 2 large dents to the wing caused by what seems like a metal bar. My security lights smashed, my front windows smashed & endless scratches & dents to my vehicles.

    I can have up to 25 children outside my house playing football at a time, this lasts from 10.00am in the morning until 10.00pm at night, winter or summer.

    When I arrive home & want to park my car, I am greeted with hostility and told to park somewhere else.

    My house and car are used as the football posts and keepers net.

    Oh and basket balls, they are thrown high into the air and by accident hit my car - a miss throw. Basketballs can cause some serious damage.

    If I am in they use the properties at either side of my property, but the footballs (proper case balls) are hit my car, front door & windows continually throughout the day. If I go out to complain, I am just laughed at & more recently stones then get thrown from behind neighbouring hedges, which are too tall for me to see behind to find the culprit(s).

    Last summer, enough was enough & I made a complaint to my neighbourhood office & was requested to attend to discuss matters further.

    I was told that my letter was the clearest they had received to date & the kind of information needed to take action. My letter did not contain names & addresses. I was told that I was not on my own & there had been lots of complaints & I had the full support of the housing department who would contact the families concerned and home visits would be carried out, with the police if necessary. With this promise of support I gave names & addresses. Left the offices feeling much releived & wished that I had done this sooner.

    I also decided to keep a diary to log all future events.

    What I saw horrified me. 1 set of neighbours were dumping rubbish in the street, a fridge freezer, tyres. In the walkway of the property adjacent to them where the old man who resided there is bedridden & basically waiting to die. They were also using his house & fence for football games, using his garden, taunting his son who visited daily by throwing a ball in his face, at his car, whilst laughing throughout. Jumping through the hedge etc, etc.

    I then overheard them saying now lets get her car (mine). So the balls were being thrown & kicked intentionally, not by accident.

    This same family were using bad language at the top of their voices, tormenting an elderley woman who lived across the road from me, by throwing stones at her front door & back gate when she went in for the night.

    They were also racially abusing one family, by spitting continually at a little asian girl who is @ 4 years old, blocking her way, hitting her in the face with their denim jacket so the metal button caught her sharply. Trying to goad their elder brother who is @ 12 into a fight, he literally runs into the house when he sees them. Whilst I had been watching this, they had collected stones and put them into socks to use as a cosh. 4 against 1 is bad enough but using coshes is a different ball game. I dialled 999 as the situation was escalating out of control. But then the mother of the offending family called them in as it was now 10.00pm, their going in time & do they run when mommy calls. I cancelled the call.

    The next night the same situation was building so I rang the police who said they would be active in the area regarding my information & the CCTV vans were prominent throughout the evening.

    The housing officer must have paid a visit regarding my complaints & things ceased for a while, so I thought, things had just gone underground. Stones were still being thrown at my car & I had to sit with my front door open to listen out.

    My house & garden was still being used as a football pitch when I was out & they just moved on when I got home, giving me the dirty looks, mutterings etc. I asked why they didn't play outside their own houses - to be told - what with 2 cars? So it's ok to damage my cars but their parents wouldn't let them play outside their own house.

    I then overheard them talking in a large group how they would throw rocks from behind the hedge & smash my windscreen & because I couldn't see who was throwing the rocks, could not implicate anyone. I had to run over the road & ask another neighbour to keep an eye out for me. I told them this but for the next 2 weeks had to physically stand on my doorstep each night until 10.00pm when they had gone it to prevent damage to my vehicle.

    None of the other families intervene - their children have nowhere to play football now - they won't let them play outside their own houses.

    I wrote 2 further letters to the housing officer detailing the above events & more requesting another appointment to discuss these issues which were frightening.

    I received a reply after my first letter saying they were dissapointed I was still having problems with neighbours & invited to make a mutually agreeable appointment to discuss further. I had by this time sent my second letter asking for an appointment which I would attend immediately.

    No reply from the housing officer concerned. I rang 3 times & left messages but my calls went unreturned. Finally on my 4th call, the officer dealing with my complaints answered. I was informed she had held several meetings with this 1 family & there was nothing further the housing department could do. I could not have a further appointment and I could not discuss any further issues or report any more complaints. If there was any body else I would like to complain about the assistance would be given. Mediation could be a way forward. I also asked about reporting the racial harrassment episode & was told I could not report things on behalf of others. I would not be granted a further appointment & was advised to call the police in future. The outcome of the meetings with this 1 family was satisfactory & therefore no further meetings necessary. I had not once been informed of the outcome of these meetings. Despite being invited to make a further appointment - now I could not have one.

    I was in a state of shock, the only reason I had given names & addresses was because I was promised the full support of the housing dept & I would not have to put up with the nuiscance behaviour from these families. Everyone knew I had made complaints & due to this I had become a target, but this time without any support from the housing dept.

    I told the officer I would see a solicitor. 1 hour later my call was returned & an appoinment was made to see me. I did see a solicitor before this meeting. I was advised that they had a responsibility towards me as a landlord & they would write & remind them of this. Plus a letter would be sent to the 1 family advising them if they continued harrassing me etc, we would be seeking an injuntion against them.

    I had a meeting with the housing officer who took notes etc & would contact the family concerned regarding my complaints & as this office was a racial harrassment reporting centre, I could make a report about what I had seen, I did but would not name the family as they had enough problems & I did not want to put them in the same position I had been placed in (Named & Shamed) I made contact with them separately & asked if they needed a witness or a statement. This family told me they were not having any problems & there was nothing to complain about. This left me confused - have they already made a complaint & been treated the same as me?

    The outcome of all of this was the same standard letter from the housing dept saying that further visits had been made & they were satisfied with the outcome. Mediation is the way forward.

    I have discussed further with my solicitor & he says we have to go through the mediation process, this is the only way we will get an injunction in court, however we have made a request that the housing dept inform us what was the outcome of the meetings? Dependent on this information we will consider the mediation process.

    I have since found out that several residents have made complaints re this 1 family & after the initial meeting with the housing officer they never hear any more & have given up trying to complain as they feel it's pointless.

    Rumour has it the same family have had complaints made against them at their former address & think they might have been evicted from 2 previous properties. Local Authorities now try & deal with the problems rather than moving them to another area as the problems move with them.

    If this is true, I feel that the local authority cannot find a solution & therefore I have to find it for them via mediation. If I can't make any further complaints against them either it looks as though there aren't any. Other families have given up complaining as they feel it is a waste of time as nothing is achieved - they have had their tyres slashed though & for others the nuiscance just continues. All the families who are picked on are like myself, on their own, of a racial minority or elderly.

    In the meantime I no longer hang out the window, I will not let this rule my life, however my car is covered in dents & scratches, just the 1 slashed tyre to date. I have visited my doctor am on anti depressants & have requested an exchange - will let you all know of any progress made or not in the hope not too distant future.

  • #2
    Hi Brummy and welcome,

    your story is dreadful, some kids are so vicious!

    Your housing office has let you down badly, You need (if you have the time and energy) to be reporting every single thing this family from hell are doing to the housing dept.

    find out who your councilors are in the area and write to them (keeping copies of all letters) and tell them that as your elected members you require their support, also tell them how disappointed and unsupported you are by the housing staff.

    then write to your MP stating the same facts, you could wait until you have/haven't had responses from the councilors and tell the MP how the counilors have let you down or are helping you.

    if they are opposite parties that can hurry them along, ie the lib dems have helped me whats labour going to do for me etc.

    elections are only just round the corner and they like to put "I helped...." in their campaign leaflets!!

    Another course of pro-active action is to get together with your neighbours whom you know and arrange that at hourly intervals you go to the housing office...

    each family on each hour with the same complaint on the same day,

    a bit tricky to arrange but can you imagine how the housing staff would react, every complaint has to be documented I'd of thought......they would have no choice but to act,

    you could keep it up for weeks!!!!!!

    sometimes we have to act like a dog with a burst ball......isn't that right HF!!


    wear them down into submission.

    we pay our taxes for a goverment service and housing is part of that.

    I know you will get loads of support here though......and we are not funded at all!!

    good luck and keep in touch


    • #3
      Hi Brummie,

      I could feel my temper rising as I read your story because it is so very much like my own so I know what you're going through.

      Funny how the wretches go quiet when they are approached by the housing, but it never lasts!! I think your council is letting you and your other good neighbours down very badly. Haven't they heard of anti-social behaviour orders? You gave them names for God's sake!!

      I think Beth has come up with some very good suggestions. If you cannot get down to the housing office then phone, as Beth says, every hour on he hour.

      When oh, when are the powers that be going to DO something about these sorts of problems instead of merely TALKING about what they are going to do (but very rarely do).

      I'm really angry because I've been through something similar and the local housing office spoke to some tenants. It's been fairly quiet for about four weeks, but slowly they yobs are starting to gather again, the windows are being pelted with mud and I'm p*****d off with it!

      I hope you can get some action, Brummy, don't stop complaining otherwise they'll (housing) will just forget about it. Good luck.

      "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


      • #4
        Hi Brummy,

        Thanks for posting and although you joined a while ago to the board, a big, big welcome!

        I have to say I'm appalled at these kids you're living with around you, and I'm appalled that you're living with this, despite the housing dept's full knowledge of what's going on and has happened. You had the courage to stand up for yourself, name people and they let you down big style............remarkably well in fact!

        It sounds like the housing officer didn't know what to do and just hoped you'd dissapear - when you didn't they hoped you'd gte fed up waiting so they wouldn't have to admit they couldn't do anything more (for whatever reason). It's all so typical isn't it, complain, give details, oh and ok "we'll write and let the NFH know that what they're doing is unacceptable and against their tenancies, etc - then after we've written don't expect any more help as we'll be infiringing ontheir human rights!"

        /end of ironic rant.....

        Then with the original letter written, the NFH continue with their merry ways, making other people's lives a misery......they find they've 'got away' with it, and had no consequences at all from carrying on with their behaviour, and off they go again. Is it any wonder they may ignore any future letters?!

        Do you have a local residents association? If not, could you start one up? It sounds like you're not the only one living with this problem and constant bullying and harassment - more safety is in numbers and definitely more action is in numbers too!

        (I don't know if Tim from 'Dorset Noise Abuse' is around at the moment, but he can definitely tell you how effective a campaigning group outside the offices of the local housing assoc, and a local journalist with you, is extemely effective! ).

        Do you have a local police liasion officer that can help? Ask for a visit if you have.

        I hope mediation services may provide you with some positive outcomes, although this sounds unlikely, and like you say, the worst thing is you'll have to grit your teeth and bear it like you're the one at fault! Just to get it to go further if neccessary.....

        In the meantime, is there anywhere else you can leave your car when you go home? Can you rent a local garage, etc? I know you shouldn't have to, but you'd be taking away the satisfaction of car damage from these street-dwellers.......they are cowardly bullies, cars and properties are easy targets.

        Look after yourself and come back often - you'll get a lot of support, ideas, info and above all sympathy on the forum


        • #5

          I am absolutely appalled !!

          The problem with teenagers is that they treat it like a game so please dont react to them any more!!

          I would strongly suggest that you get stuck in about that so called housing officer TODAY!!!

          "Be like a dog wi a burst ba' !" ie do not let go!!!!

          If mr X cant(wont) help then ask who can!!- ask to see his boss etc etc. Remember you pay these peoples wages, ( as I am reminded on a daily basis by the public!!).

          I would also suggest your solicitor starts showing his teeth a wee bit and gets some injuctions banning the football / banning them from coming near your car etc etc. - might cost afew bob but surely cheaper than sorting your car all the time??

          Anyway- just a couple of points for you to get your teeth into


          "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"

          apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan

          Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!


          • #6
            You keep the pressure up, the pen pushers in the council offices dont like to be disturbed, heck anyone would think we pay their wages. No i think you should write to your local councillor and what about seeing your MP in his local surgery, your local council should be able to provide this information. Yes i have NFH at the back, so i have bought another property, but i am lucky not in rented accomodation.

            I got plagued once with kids and i just went sitting in their garden, and their mother asked what did i think they were doing, so i said well your kids are in mine so i have come to yours, needs some confidence, but they dont like it happening to them.But i also had 2 burly sons with me too, its great that cos women think heavens i dont want any trouble from them. If my sons were at home now they would be round my NFH let me tell you.