WHAT is it really like living with problem neighbours, doing battle with a slow legal system, and a law that seems to favour those causing the problems?
One Milton Keynes resident shares his experience...
WOULDN’T it be nice if, for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we all had street parties and spent time with our direct neighbours?
That was the suggestion raised on Breakfast TV recently.
What a lovely, quaint idea.
But, rather like the idea of tapping on a neighbour’s door to ask for the token cup of sugar, in many areas it has been relegated to ‘the way we were’ history vaults.
Truth be told, in many places people are encased within their four walls, too scared to meet the glare of their closest neighbours, let alone consider imbibing glasses of wine, nibbling on jam tarts and making sweet conversation with them.
You are less likely to have a natter over a garden fence, and more likely to have your neighbour’s trash tipped over your garden fence.
You see, people who live like this are an utter disgrace.
I should know – I’ve lived alongside a stream of council tenants in recent years.
I say ‘stream’ because one by one they have all been evicted, though not before doing their level best to damage the lives of those around them.
We’ve suffered heroin addicts leaving needles in the communal areas and rooting through our rubbish bags on a hunt for silver foil in the early hours of the morning (assigned to one tenant, eight people were living in the one bedroom property when sense eventually prevailed and they were moved on).
And how pleasant is it to invite your grandparents to your property, while praying they don’t see discarded sanitary wear and nappies on their way to the front door.
We’ve had noisy neighbours, ASBO breaking neighbours, thieving neighbours and been threatened so often that if all those threats had materialised we would look like extras from a Saw film.
If this sounds faintly amusing, then evidently you have never dreaded going home at the end of a day at work for fear of another night of hell.
Your social life suffers, because you don’t want to leave your property for fear of intimidation, or them attacking your premises, and at work your colleagues grimace slightly when you mention the problems at home, again.
But you can’t switch off.
You spend your spare time begging for police to intervene, which is nearly always pointless, and compiling diary sheets documenting the daily problems you face.
We had recording equipment installed to capture the hell we were suffering.
‘We’ve got them now,’ we thought. But the equipment, it transpired later, wasn’t working when it was loaned to us.
The process of eviction is such a long one, that by the time it happens it feels like a hollow victory for the good guy.
And when you’ve been through the process half a dozen times with different tenants, ‘victory’ isn’t a word you feel like using.
The council has an obligation to house these benefit grabbing, freeloaders.
But it’s those of us forced to co-exist with them, that really suffer.
And the laws are nowhere near tough enough.
We were often told ‘the tenant is trying to adjust to living on their own; ‘the tenant just needs a little support to make their way’.
Really? I never had a council worker assigned to help me find my way when I moved out as a youngster. I knew enough about respect of others, and knew how to co-exist without becoming a yob.
Our last ‘evictee’ struggled so much on his own that it appeared he couldn’t even use the bathroom facilities on his own and had to smear faeces around the property when he vacated. Poor chap.
Do-good council workers and government bodies have it all wrong.
It shouldn’t be an issue for us to tolerate bad behaviour and be forced to give second chances. We are the good guys, the ones who work hard, and want a peaceful life.
Instead, plenty of us wind up stressed, ill and sometimes wishing we could end it all.
I have been at that point, and it is hellish.
It is ironic that in this ‘world-gone-mad’ era, the criminal has more rights than the law abiding citizen.
As a result of continual harassment, relationships have suffered, I have lost my carefree attitude and am ashamed to say I now have a drug addiction of my own – to sleeping pills.
Sleep won’t come without them, and now I have another battle – to get them from my GP.
So, you see, since HRH came to the throne, plenty has changed – respect has been replaced by a self-centred, careless attitude and a burgeoning sponging society hell-bent on making the rest of us suffer.
There is little community spirit where I live, so a street party isn’t likely to be high on the agenda this Jubilee anyway. A street cleaning party would be more apt. But if someone does try to rally the masses?
You’ll not find me being sociable among the nibbles.
I’ll celebrate behind closed doors, mourning the demise of a once Great Britain.