Ipswich: Residents fight back to drive out drug dealers
An Ipswich grandmother today told of her relief after residents fought back to help close a drug den in the flats where they live.
Angela Dunnett gave evidence in court after feeling unable to let her grandchildren, aged four and one, play out in the courtyard next to her home in Compair Crescent.
The 59-year-old was one of a number of residents praised for standing up to the drug dealers by having the courage to appear before Ipswich magistrates.
They appeared in support of a successful application brought jointly by police, Ipswich Borough Council and Wherry Housing to throw out the tenants of a top-floor flat.
Mrs Dunnett said: “It’s been terrifying. I feel so relieved. It feels as though a weight has been lifted off me.
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“We are all coming up to retirement age in these flats. I felt frightened all the time, every time you heard the door or the buzzer go.
“There’s been occasions when there’s been fights in the building and you could hear people threatening each other.
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“It came out of the blue. The first bank holiday weekend in May, new tenants moved into the block.”
However, the 59-year-old said she soon became aware of addicts going to the flats’ back door near her flat and using the buzzers to get in.
“There were an awful lot of people about. I had my grandchildren for a sleepover. We had the patio door open and they used to play outside.
“I scooped the children up, brought them in, locked the door and closed the blinds. The doors haven’t been opened all summer.
“It’s been horrible to live like this. You are fearful all the time about who you are going to bump into.”
Mrs Dunnett thanked police, the council and Wherry Housing for taking action so residents’ lives could get back to normal.
After the flat was boarded up, deputy borough council leader & Safer Ipswich portfolio-holder Neil MacDonald said: “This resident has had an awful time and I’m very pleased we were able to assist with her peace of mind by closing this drugs den.
“I hope her grandchildren can play in safety from now on.”
Sue Stavers, managing director at Wherry Housing added: “This should serve as a warning to others that we will not tolerate the misery anti-social behaviour brings to decent members of our communities and we will take the issue of illegal drugs extremely seriously.
“We will continue to respond to the concerns of our residents and do all we can to protect them from anti social behaviour by working in close partnership with the police and other agencies”.