Teenage gangs are running amok in Hartcliffe flats, says resident
RESIDENTS living in a block of flats in Hartcliffe are calling for fencing to be put up around the building to keep out rowdy teenagers who are making their lives a misery.
People living at Middleford House at Symes Avenue say large gangs gather outside the block causing havoc.
The block, which has 60 flats, suffers from regular vandal attacks and in the past windows have been smashed and graffiti daubed on the building.
Groups of teens have also got inside the block, using the stairwells as a place to drink and smoke.
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They have also ripped advertising hoardings from the neighbouring Morrisons supermarket off the wall and are often seen climbing up on to the roofs of nearby garages.
Teens have also been seeing taking shopping trolleys from the store and riding them up and down nearby roads and pavements.
Police have been called out a number of times in the last week to deal with large gangs of youths gathering outside the flats.
Now residents of the block have launched a petition calling on Bristol City Council to install measures to keep the youngsters away from the building.
Resident and retired city council caretaker Brian Alcock, 71, who has lived in the flats for 25 years, is leading the campaign.
Mr Alcock said: "The youngsters come over to the flats and cause mayhem. On Friday night there was a group of about 30 of them outside causing noise and nuisance.
"Some were trying to kick in the boiler room doors while others were climbing on the roofs of the garages.
"We called the police and the gangs dispersed but they were back again days later taking trolleys from the supermarket and riding them along the street.
"When I went to my balcony I saw one of them rip off an advertising board from the wall and when I asked him why he did it, I got stones thrown at my window."
In the past the pensioner has contacted the city council and his local MP asking for better security measures to be implemented at the flats to keep out the gangs, but to no avail.
Mr Alcock said: "We accept that we live in a busy area and that there will be some noise. But these youngsters are really causing a problem for residents. What we need is better security, such as fencing put up around the flats to stop the young people getting so close to the block."
A spokesman for Bristol City Council said the first it heard of a problem was after the weekend but it would be in touch with the residents.
"Anti-social behaviour is an issue which can disproportionately blight the lives of communities and we take it very seriously, working with the police and other agencies to tackle it as a matter of urgency," he said.
Avon and Somerset Police Inspector Nigel Colston said: "We are aware of the recent anti-social behaviour at Middleford House and have tasked additional patrols to the area."