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'Council must act over antisocial behaviour from South Croydon residents'

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RESIDENTS are demanding the council holds a public meeting to address antisocial behaviour stemming from a house occupied by teenagers.

South Croydon Community Association (SCCA) members this week met with police over issues at a property in Heathfield Road. The association's chairman Charlotte Davies told the Advertiser: "We want the council to hold a public meeting.

"I have stated categorically we want them out; and we want an explanation of how they have been allowed to occupy that house and behave in the manner they have unsupervised.

"When the neighbours complained to the council they got absolutely no support. I do not understand how they have been allowed to continue in the premises."

Neighbours living near the property, in which charity CAYSH hosts a project to support homeless young people, claim they have been subjected to a reign of terror. And they have said it is due to a lack of supervision from the authorities.

But Alan Hiscutt, the council's head of commissioning for vulnerable adults and supported housing, said: "CAYSH has been recognised nationally as a good quality and innovative provider of services for homeless young people.

"The house is not unsupervised. CAYSH support workers visit regularly. Complaints about the behaviour of two of the residents were made in 2011. CAYSH took appropriate action to manage the situation, including by increasing visits to the property and working with the Council to evict them. The eviction took place in May 2012. "

The SCCA, however, has said the troubles are ongoing and enough is enough. Mrs Davies said: "I am absolutely appalled at his complacent attitude about safety in my community and his complacent attitude to under-age homeless residents in this Borough, who are left for long periods unsupervised.

"This project has cost South Croydon Residents thousands of pounds – it is absolutely unacceptable. If it is such a great project let us move them to Mr Hiscutt's street."

A police spokesman said: "The Fairfield Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) has not received reports of any antisocial behaviour linked to Heathfield Road in the past six months from local residents. However, his team has met recently with the South Croydon Community Association, which has raised concerns about the area and officers are speaking with local residents to establish if there are any problems.

"Anyone experiencing antisocial behaviour can contact their local SNT who can then take appropriate action."

A spokesman for Croydon council said: "We are aware of, and have been looking into, Ms Davies's concerns, however we have not received any reports this year of incidents at this address, and neither have police.

"The property is contracted to a local charity and is supervised with support workers visiting regularly, and is monitored at night and weekends.

"Neighbours also have contact details for who to call in the event of any problems. We would of course investigate any complaints we receive and take appropriate action."


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