Sunderland families reveal hell of nuisance neighbours

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PERSONAL stories of Wearsiders whose lives have been plagued by antisocial behaviour have been presented to politicians.

Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, gathered the views of those living in the city in a bid to highlight the blight nuisance neighbours can cause to their communities.

Ms Phillipson has been sitting on the Home Affairs Select Committee which has been looking into the Government’s long-awaited draft AntiSocial Behaviour Bill.

During the MP’s consultation, Wearsiders were asked their views on how antisocial behaviour had affected them.

The findings revealed:

l 50 per cent of people taking part in the survey had reported antisocial behaviour to Sunderland Council or Northumbria Police.

l 40 per cent had not reported nuisance behaviour to either agencies.

l 10 per cent had not experiences antisocial behaviour of any kind.

One resident said: “I’ve had daily problems of youths playing football outside my house for two years. There is constant noise of the football blasting off my boundary wall, the ball constantly hitting my windows and car.

“This goes on from 10am to 10pm weekends and holidays. The police are not interested. They say, unless they are causing damage, they’re not doing anything wrong.”

Another resident told Ms Phillipson: “Fly tipping is common in my vicinity – around and on Tunstall Hill and licence plates have also been stolen from my neighbour’s car.”

Today’s publication of the Home Affairs Select Committee scrutiny report saw Ms Phillipson calling for the Government to introduce a national standard for action on antisocial behaviour .

The Committee also called for the setting up of a new National Antisocial Behaviour Forum — headed by a chief constable, a housing association chief executive, and a local council leader, for a term of two years.

Ms Phillipson said: “Too many victims of antisocial behaviour are suffering in silence. I know from constituents the impact it has and how it can devastate lives.

“I support any measure which would allow the police to take action in communities at the earliest possible opportunity before antisocial behaviour becomes a persistent problem.

“The committee recommends that agencies must work together more effectively, support victims and speed up the court process. These measures would help to tackle persistent and harmful behaviour that blights communities.”

Twitter: @craigjourno