Residents in the Keswick Court flats on Ladywell’s Malyons Road are worried about the security of the property and their own personal safety after months of anti-social behaviour in and around the blocks.
Concern mounted after the recent fatal stabbing of a 29 year old man in his car on Malyons Road.
Residents says groups of adolescent boys and girls regularly force their way into the entrance hallwayof Keswick Court and “hang out” in the building, using the power sockets in the stairwell to charge phones and scooters.
“Sometimes there are as many as a dozen young people hanging around. They shouldn’t be there. People feel threatened,” says one resident who works for Lewisham Hospital.
People living there report aggressive behaviour, the theft of shoes left outside their doors, and damage to walls and doors. They say they have also seen youths carrying knives.
Residents say “the kids” just laugh when they are asked to leave. And when the police are called they disappear quickly over garden fences at the back.
One resident says she has put up lots of notices warning residents not to leave doors open. But she says residents still leave them open and even if they are closed “the young people just seem to break in.”
Concerned residents have contacted PA Housing, which manages the Keswick Court blocks, to ask for proper security doors to be fitted.
Rachael Smart, assistant director of housing services at PA said: “At the end of April, repairs were carried out to the entrance doors of Keswick Court to make sure that locks were adequate and working correctly.
“But we want to make sure we’re listening to our residents and that they feel safe in their homes. So, we’ll arrange for our repairs contractor to revisit Keswick Court to make sure everything remains in working order and hopefully help put our residents’ minds at rest.”
She adds: “We’re sorry to hear of our residents’ concerns about the security of their homes following an increase in antisocial behaviour in the local area – especially after a recent serious crime.
“Our colleagues are working with local police in Lewisham to help tackle antisocial behaviour and we ask our residents to continue to report any incidents to us if they are related to PA Housing.
Residents say the anti-social behaviour started about a year ago after the second Covid lockdown. “But it reached a point where some people were so worried they didn’t want to leave their flats.”
Healthcare workers in the block who often return home late at night after their shift at Lewisham Hospital say they feel unsafe as the lights in the stairwell often do not work.
Residents say they have witnessed drug dealing at the front of the block, and there is always lots of illegal parking in the residents’ car park. “We’ve even seen people selling their cars in the car park,“ says one.
Some residents say people are choosing to leave because “nothing seems to change”. Says one resident: “ It’s a pity. They are nice flats and are convenient.”