To Think Neighbour Should Be Arrested?(34 Posts)
Name change for obvious reasons. I need some perspective.
And apologies for yet another neighbour thread. Look away now if you don't like these. This is a genuine question. I am really scared, have to go to the police later today and want some support/advice.
We've had lots of problems with our neighbours, who moved in nearly 2 years ago (council house). We bore the brunt of it, because they are in the end house and we are the only ones with a party wall. We heard things that made me contact Children's Services - really extreme emotional abuse, we weren't sure whether physical or not. SS visited them for a while then seem to have signed them off. The abuse of the kids continued - sometimes even as the SS pulled out of the drive. The kids are clean and well presented and the man is cogent so we think he managed to convince them all was well and we were malicious neighbours.
6 months ago things reached a head and I contacted the NSPCC who got SS out again but no joy. Neighbour was recently arrested at 1 AM for some sort of violent affray in the house, and their two toddlers were in the midst of the action - but still not removed from the house. The police rang me to ask if I will give evidence, if it comes to it. I said I would. They also said, instead of contacting the NSPCC - which I have done in the past - if there are any more incidents, to dial 999.
On Monday afternoon the mother of all arguments starts and I can hear one of the children crying and shouting. So I do as told and ring the police. Surprisingly, they know immediately who I am and send two cars with sirens. The shrieking was so loud, the neighbour three doors down heard it and came out. Neither of them were arrested - and the children were left in situ. The minute the police left, it was all 'us against the world' lovey dovey again and they rush out in the car half an hour after threatening to stab eachother and him trying to throw her out and her refusing to go. (Car trips usually mean they return and get drunk or drugged up). The DV goes both ways from what we can hear. She is as violent as him and actually far more creepy and scary. She sometimes does this weird baying/screaming sound. Sounds like an alcoholic neighbour I had years ago when he hat DTs.
There was a lot of that on Monday.
An hour or two later, the man goes out into his garden, stations himself by our (high) fence, and according to another neighbour who went upstairs to look out, was stood bizarrely shrieking abuse about "the fucking neighbours" and "the fucking police" - at the fence. I went out for some of it but was so scared I couldn't stay there long. I heard a lot about knifing "the neighbours" and he said "I am going to shoot you in the head!" I have heard him loudly bemoaning the fact he can no longer shoot the house martens, which I thought at the time was said in case we were listening.
My (nice) neighbour was sat on her back doorstep, listening. She said she couldn't believe it. She said she would write down some of it, whilst it was fresh in her mind and she will back us up that it did happen.
OK so... death threats. That's as serious as it gets, right? Even if the person is mentally ill/drunk/stoned (and he may be all three). He is an unemployed man of about 50. He has a very loud voice and we are often treated to his lengthy rants in the garden about things not being what they used to be, how immigrants stole his job, how everything is fucking shit. Or that the world is against him. My husband heard this btw but like me, only a fraction of it. My 4 sons heard it - 2 are adults - and one, probably 2 of the neighbours. Sadly the neighbour who would have marched round there and lamped him had been working a night shift so he slept through it.
I know it was aimed at me as there was something about "fucking neighbours' unfounded allegations". My nice neighbour tells me there was something about a dog and a motorway - really weird stuff that made no sense.
Now the police had already been out once, and I knew the second they turned up he'd deny everything. So I thought I'd call 101 the next day. But Tuesday I was busy all day with my son at hospital and didn't want to call in the evening when the kids could hear. So I rang yesterday, finally.
They made an appointment for me to go to the police later today. The 101 operator sounded quite shocked when I told her about the shooting in the head comment.
So my question.....What will happen with clear death threats? Is it harassment? Something else? If it is a he said/she said thing - will the CPS run with it? Will someone now take us seriously and get those kids to a place of safety? The police certainly seem to be the first agency to take us seriously - the council just stonewalled us and kept them in situ. Shouting in the gardens breaks their tenancy agreement. Threatening neighbours does. Council refused to give s a higher fence and even commented how great he must be as he cuts his lawn!
We have logs of the trouble they have caused/noise/ASB going back nearly 2 years. The council did nothing. Gave them a secure tenancy despite it, in fact. Our lovely home we loved for 13 years has turned into a nightmare. Now the other neighbours are being impacted, too.
After I called 101 yesterday I went down the garden and saw that 6 fence posts have been ripped off (it was a bit we added to make the council's 3 foot high fence upto 6 foot - partly cos I have a dog that could jump into their garden or the field beyond, and partly because I felt very scared next door to them with a fence they could step over - especially the woman who usually presents as the most threatening of the pair).
He has ripped out about 20 foot of our fence and lobbed it into the garden. It has crushed a rose bush one of the last things my late dad bought me.
He has security cameras so the odds of a randomer coming into his garden to rip off the upper bit of fence and lob it in mine are zero.
I have contacted the council but no reply yet and they clearly are protecting these tenants - maybe embarrassed because they rehoused them despite another HA evicting them for ASB, as we happened to find out.
Longwinded, and sorry but... what is likely to happen? Does anyone think I am finally going to be helped and those kids are, more to the point?
I should add whilst ranting about the fucking neighbours/police/shooting you in the head - his toddlers were still awake and downstairs if not in the garden with him. We could hear them.
If it does go to court, how do I continue to live next door to these people in the meantime, as they will know I am giving evidence against them re. their child abuse but also maybe a second case, re. their threatening us? I don't understand why the council can't evict them, as how can I feel safe here, now?
I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I'm afraid I don't have any advice but I didn't want to read and run, hopefully someone who can help will be along soon.
Gosh you poor thing and those poor children it all sounds absolutely unbearable. Can you record them at all? You need go gather as much evidence as possible and keep on reporting everything.
I hope it gets sorted, for all concerned, very soon
Oh no sing, this is a shocking story. Don't know if I'll be much help but didn't want to read and run.
My option, based on when I was a council T ennant, is that the council/ha react slowly, if at all. I think police are your best bet. If you could possibly get together with other neighbours and make a chronological list of events, and who witnessed what, I think this would show how this is a pattern of unstable violent behaviour not a neighbourhood dispute. I would pass that information on to everyone - and let the council know that police are involved as you have had no council help to resolve this.
Regarding the horrible threats, I don't think the police will move you, sorry, but this could be the key to getting them moved.
He sounds genuinely like he needs mental health intervention and I don't say that lightly. The basis for sectioning is presenting a danger to others or yourself, which he, and possibly she, does.
It sounds as though SS have contacted the police to express concerns, but can't justify removing the children. I know that seems to be wrong but to remove children takes a lot (baby P) and SS have faced critism in the past for doing it AND for not doing it.
Sing, could you also get cctv? This may provide valuable evidence especially if next door are not aware you have it.
Sorry this is a long reply. To sum up, tell the police you feel genuinely frightened for your safety and that of your children and nd children. Ask them if they will inform SS, if not you do so. Tell the council about the police involvement and how surprised the police are at the lack of council support. As police if a mental health intervention is necessary. Talk to other neighbours and support each other. I think nd WILL get moved, but you might have to bear it a little longer. Ask the police about victim support. Good luck to you, it will be resolved
You poor thing, this is absolutely hideous! I would try to record one of his rants in the garden if you can, it's a shame your neighbour didn't voice record what they heard too. I hope you finally get some help and begin to feel safe in your home, and those poor little children are taken to safety and a family where they will be cherished.
Oddly, I think the police might be delighted to hear about the criminal damage. Much easier to verify than the threats. Give them another call.
This sounds awful OP. Log everything with the police when you go in to talk to them, give them all the background and emphasise that you'd like to move forward/think the children are in danger etc.
Thanks, everyone who has responded so far. I appreciate it. Feel a bit less scared and alone.
I am hoping yer actual death threats move it beyond the 'neighbour disputes' territory and mean something will now happen. I don't want to move - have been here years and my kids have loved it here. Also, it would give these people the idea that bullies win.
I have logs going back from almost the week they moved in. It has been so depressing and time consuming and as I work from home, has devastated other areas of my life, too. Previously I have lived next door to all kinds of people with no major problems - apart from the alcoholic man, in the 1990s and even at his worst, he was not at heart a bad or scary person.
Part of the problem is, the council ballsed up ever putting them here (long story) so now have to cover their arses.
Also, keep an eye on your dog, with the fence destroyed the 'dog and motorway' comments might have a basis.
I hope you can get this resolved quickly.
Buy a cheap dictaphone and record the arguments/shouting/violence/drunken rants
Buy a cheap CCTV system (if within your means) and position it into your garden. Put a sign up notifying that CCTV is in use
Start another diary alongside the voice recording
Keep phoning 999 when you hear the arguing/violence, tell them there is young children in the house
Yes, I'd go to the police to log this, and I would definitely keep a close eye on your dog. It sounds horrendous - so sorry you're having to go through this.
Poor wee kids having to live in the midst of all this. Awful for you too, OP.
You need to continue reporting everything to the police and the local authority..can you start recording some of these incidents so there is evidence of threatening behaviour towards you and abuse of the children?
Surely ripping up your fence is criminal damage?
A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.
Badtime I don't think op actually saw him do it unfortunately. Don't know if another neighbour may have done
Many phones have a video and / or voice recording function. If you hear him shouting and screaming in his garden again, particularly if it is threats to you, then try to record that. The police are likely to find it very useful.
Sounds awful - you have my sympathies.
I think the criminal damage to your fence is the most useful thing your neighbours have done and the one where it is more possible action can be taken against your neighbours. Although even that won't be easy. Which one did it? Him or her? How could that be proved beyond reasonable doubt? Was there a witness?
With the threats to kill I think that you have to prove that he intended for you to believe that he was likely to actually try to kill you imminently for that offence to be proved. Did you think he was actually going to kill you that day.
That leads on to him using words to alarm or distress you under the public order act. The problem there is you were both on private property and being in a 'public' place is usually crucial.
It is quite difficult to tackle this sort of behaviour which is why people get away with it.
Okay if you were in your garden when your neighbour was saying threatening things that may be okay for sec 4a of the public order act. But if you were inside your house he may not have committed an offence.
The maximum sentence for 4a is six months in prison, so even if your neighbour can be persued for that offence almost nothing will happen to him on conviction.
You poor woman. How bloody awful. Log everything and try get stuff on film if you can.
The children will be removed if they are at risk of physical harm. If he is ranting about shooting neighbours in the head, killing dogs on motorways, his wife has a knife she waves about and he's ripping down fences I would say those children are at risk of physical harm. Tell the police and state that to them. If they record it and SS ignore it, then they will have to explain why they didn't act on your evidence when the children are harmed (which sounds quite possible). Phone the Police, the NSPCC and SS again and tell them about the physical threats to yourself and your dog, along with the destruction of your property and that you think he has totally lost the plot and the children are at risk of physical harm.
Talk about banging your head against a brick wall! I just don't understand why, after all you've reported already, these children are still in this unsafe environment. I really feel for you. But it sounds like it's reaching a head and something is going to happen soon for you. Just keep recording and reporting as much as you can. If I was one of those toddlers, I would be glad of your help.
Is it possible to record from your phone or tablet the vocal abuse, toward you and the kids? They will not see you, and you will have concrete evidence to show SS and the police.
I don't think you will get anywhere if you don't record any of it.
This is just awful. And it sounds very dangerous. Can you get some sort of restraining order now criminal damage has taken place? and verbal abuse?
Get on to your local councillor and/or MP. Most housing associations will take notice of them and they can press for action. Councils actually providing housing should be even more reactive to councillor?MP contact.
Only hearsay, but I believe that SS will also take notice if councillor/county councillor/MP raises case; obviously will only act if there is stuff to act on legally, but it does seem to move a bit faster!
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