UPDATED: Anti-social families will get 48 hours to leave their homes, pledges Littlemoor housing chief (From Dorset Echo)
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UPDATED: Housing authority cracks down on problem tenants in Littlemoor after rise in crime
PROBLEM families in Littlemoor could be facing eviction with housing authority Synergy taking legal action on a number of tenants.
Dozens of residents came together at a public meeting in St Francis Church on the Weymouth estate to discuss the anti-social behaviour and crime that has been plaguing the area.
It comes after a spate of arsons and car break-ins in Littlemoor, with one woman suffering serious burns in a malicious fire in a park last week.
Christine Wallis, anti-social behaviour offer for Synergy Housing, said tenants causing significant trouble will be given 48 hours notice to leave.
She said: “Synergy have commenced legal action on a number of families in the Littlemoor area.
“We are pursuing this through the courts and it is currently with our solicitors.”
Police, firefighters, councillors, youth groups and other local authorities came together with around 50 residents to tackle the rising level of crime.
Weymouth and Portland Inspector Les Fry said officers working under Operation Guardian are targeting criminals in Littlemoor.
He said: “Littlemoor is the only area that has had an increase in crime since December.
“Criminal and anti-social behaviour is up which bucks the trend in the rest of Weymouth, Portland and the surrounding area.
“I think it will take 12 months to two years to achieve our aim of making the estate a better place to live and work.”
There have been more than a dozen arrests in recent weeks on the estate which has led to one youth being handed an anti-social behaviour order, seven more subject to Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and another person in prison.
A Section 30 dispersal order is now in place for the area as part of the clampdown which has also seen CCTV cameras installed and extra police patrols.
Inspector Fry said the police need the community to work with them by reporting crime and urged residents to join the Home Watch scheme which is being rolled out across the estate.
He said the force is listening to the community and urged people to ensure they report crimes and other problems.
Inspector Fry added: “A number of people have been allowed to exist and carry on their criminal activities on this estate.
“They have carried on that behaviour for a number of years. That's no longer going to be acceptable behaviour.”
Another community meeting will be held in six months’ time.
The next Littlemoor PACT will be on April 10.
Estate welcomes new policy
MANY residents in Littlemoor have welcomed the news that problem tenants will be moved out of the area.
Suzette Lonsdale, of Brisbane Road, said: “Synergy making evictions is good news and should force the problem out.
“Hopefully any other families coming in know what will happen to them as well and won’t cause any more trouble.
“Let’s hope it works. We will be glad to see the back of them.
“I’ve signed up for the Home Watch scheme as well, it’s been brought in other areas where I’ve lived and it makes a difference.”
However some residents are sceptical about how much difference the new measures will make.
Speaking at the meeting Tony Alee, of Bincombe Rise, said: “We have heard all this before.
“Where does Inspector Les Fry think he will succeed where others have failed.
“Other inspectors have come and said this and things got better for a few months and then they move manpower out again.
“If we signed up for Home Watch you can guarantee your car would be torched and your home would be attacked.”
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To talk about the issues in confidence contact the Littlemoor reporter Rachael Burnett on email@example.com or call 01305 830982