HOUSING chiefs in Kirklees insist they are doing all they can to help tenants who fall victim to nightmare neighbours.
The reassurance from Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing has come after a string of complaints from residents.
Complaints have flooded in from Examiner readers since we featured the plight of Sheepridge woman Roseann Sloggett, who was forced to move out of her home by yobs who plagued her life.
Another Sheepridge resident, who did not want to be named, said Mrs Sloggett’s case was not an isolated one.
He said: “I totally understand the frustration she feels, as I have suffered from this behaviour.
“How much longer do the likes of us who suffer at the hands of these individuals have to put up with it until the council and police do something?”
But KNH community protection manager David Sykes said the organisation faced a difficult task.
He said the identity of hooligans was not always known and when it was the process of dealing with them could be drawn out.
Mr Sykes added: “We are not the police. We can’t lock people up. We can do our job only if people provide some of the evidence for us.
“One of the difficulties we have is when someone does something but we don’t know who it is. If we have the evidence things are relatively straightforward.
“Victims can help us by keeping detailed records of what is happening and contacting us as soon as something happens, so that we can follow things up quickly.”
Mr Sykes said that despite the difficulties KNH was committed to dealing with problem tenants.
He said: “The Government has given us powers and tools and we make full use of them to try and ease problems for people.
“We try to being relief to the victims as soon as possible.”
He said people should first complain to their nearest estate management office. The offices are at Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Batley and Cleckheaton.
If the office cannot resolve the case it will be referred to Mr Sykes’s team. The team is based at Perseverance House, St Andrew’s Road, Huddersfield.
It works closely with the police, Kirklees Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and other council departments.
Members speak to the complainant, neighbours, witnesses, the police and the person accused of bad behaviour.
Mr Sykes said: “If we can sort the problem out there and then, we will. Or if we need to refer people to mediators or the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit we will.
“If that doesn’t solve the problem we can take out an anti-social behaviour injunction. We do quite a lot.”
The injunctions can restrict the accused person from doing certain things, such as approaching the victim or visiting a certain street.
If a person breaks the injunction they can be arrested and brought before a county court judge for punishment.
Mr Sykes said: “At this moment there is at least one individual who failed to adhere to his anti-social behaviour injunction who is in prison.”
If someone is being threatened with violence KNH can get an injunction within a day. But in less urgent situations the process may take longer.
If a person is still causing trouble after an injunction KNH will try to have the him or her evicted.
This can take up to six months, with the victim needing to keep logs of problem behaviour. KNH will even install CCTV cameras in homes to gather evidence against troublemakers.
Mr Sykes said: “A lot of people think eviction’s an easy process, but it takes considerable time. The problem is that you can evict someone from a property and they can move in with a neighbour down the road. We then have to start again.”
Mr Sykes said his team also involves problem tenants in programmes to change their behaviour and deal with issues such as parenting.
He added: “In the long term that is a better route than just looking to move them out.
“Sometimes it is difficult to get people to co-operate, but we do try.”