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Would you tell somebody in this situation?

(37 Posts)
recoveringthesatellites Fri 10-Jul-20 17:44:38

Basically we've lived in our current home almost 2 years. There are neighbours across the way who have 4 children aged probably 7,8,12 and 16/17 if I hazard a guess. There are 3 adults living there normally (mum, dad and another woman).
We haven't had any direct issues with them except for them fly tipping furniture, car parts etc on the road which they did remove once asked to but only when asked to after they'd been there a while. I'm purely trying to give background info so our concern makes sense.
They have their curtains closed all day and night which is fine but I don't think it's a nice atmosphere for the children but each to their own I suppose.
A couple of weeks ago another adult man moved into the property (we are assuming this because his car has been there since and he unpacked loads of bags and bedding etc when he arrived).
Today we watched the father fill up a double air bed in the street. He duct taped a pipe to the car exhaust then instructed the 12ish year old to get in the drivers seat and pump the pedal, thus filling the air bed with exhaust fumes until it was firmly full and the child then carried it into the house.

Wtf?? We can't be the only ones finding this strange?
So they're subletting we assume (I know for certain that it is a council property) and also I feel that the children are living in a fairly dangerous environment if the father thinks that this is acceptable. If that is to leak in the night surely it would be incredibly dangerous?

So my question is: what would you do about this? Do I report this to the council or what? I don't want to get them into any trouble but I just feel the living arrangements and the fact that someone is sleeping somewhere in the house on an air bed filled with carbon monoxide is a bit of a cause for concern. The property is either a 2 or 3 bedroom (that's what they all are, no bigger).

I'm a bit baffled really and we are at a loss what to do if anything so decided to ask here.

OP’s posts: |
DibDibDibduh Fri 10-Jul-20 18:00:27

I'd ring environmental health and see what they say
How many people saw them do this?

eatyourcake Fri 10-Jul-20 18:01:06

They could be in trouble when that bed inevitably deflates over time and possibly poisons the room occupant, very scary. I don't know where to report this, but I think you should.. what other bad decisions are these parents making behind those closed curtains?

recoveringthesatellites Fri 10-Jul-20 18:03:22

@DibDibDibduh me and my partner saw but not sure if any other neighbours did

OP’s posts: |
FlameFartingDragon Fri 10-Jul-20 18:03:41

Call your local social services safeguarding hotline tonight and tell them.

Spied Fri 10-Jul-20 18:04:25

I'd call the council. Definitely.

HollowTalk Fri 10-Jul-20 18:05:14

I'd call the housing officer - it sounds a really horrible environment for the children.

DibDibDibduh Fri 10-Jul-20 18:09:33

That's good someone can back you up. Ring 101 and tell them exactly what you saw

Pantsomime Fri 10-Jul-20 18:12:19

Social services now OP other lines will likely be closed for w/e. I think you can do it anonymously

raffle Fri 10-Jul-20 18:15:00

Car exhaust fumes to fill an air bed?! Wtf?

FloutMyArse Fri 10-Jul-20 18:22:55

“They have their curtains closed all day and night which is fine but I don't think it's a nice atmosphere for the children but each to their own I suppose.” why does this wind people up so badly? I have my blinds closed at all times. Like many, I live in a terraced house & I don’t want people staring in. Plenty of sunlight filters in (they aren’t blackout blinds!) and I have privacy from the lookie-loos walking past. At the moment the sunlight is dappled from the trees in the front garden and it’s lovely.

I have no idea who would fill up an air bed with car exhaust though - that sounds absurdly dangerous!!!! Like, beyond unreasonable confused

Canihaveafairygodmotherpls Fri 10-Jul-20 18:26:21

I think it's normal for us to question ourselves when we witness something that doesn't sound right. We try to rationalise it to make sense of it. But curtains closed all day is a red flag in child protection and the air bed extremely concerting and odd. Go with your instinct here. Report to SS sounds like you might have witnessed a small window into a very odd and unhealthy environment for these children. I don't think you are over reacting if you report it. It's times like this that turning the other cheek allow children to remain in dire circumstances. No harm in reporting it's completely reasonable for you to feel concerned.

Canihaveafairygodmotherpls Fri 10-Jul-20 18:27:23

* look right
* concerning

Sorry typed too quick!

Bluepolkadots42 Fri 10-Jul-20 18:33:18

I would definitely report to social services- those children could be at risk based on what you witnessed. As you said, what other weird/dangerous decisions are those parents making? Do the children look clean and cared for?

memememe Fri 10-Jul-20 18:33:50

not excusing the blow up bed issue, but could the guest be sleeping in a tent in the garden? might just be a temporary measure or a family visitor? but id ring the council anyway due to the danger of the exhaust.

Auntydarah Fri 10-Jul-20 18:36:23

Call social services
That type of behaviourakes me worried that the adults in the home are doing stuffoke this often. Which would endanger the children. That's just a bonkers thing to do.

MaryRaddy Fri 10-Jul-20 18:37:23

WTF. I would definitely call 101.

savagebaggagemaster Fri 10-Jul-20 18:43:13

Call the NSPCC now and speak to an adviser - this sounds really worrying and you need some expert advice.

recoveringthesatellites Fri 10-Jul-20 18:46:58

I have phoned and logged it with 101 so hopefully somebody will come and look into this. The social services number for my local area said their office was closed and I panicked so phoned 101 instead. Hopefully somebody will come out and pay them a visit because I wouldn't be able to go to sleep tonight in my own bed knowing that is in there!

Like others have said, I'm concerned that they think this is acceptable so what else goes on in that house that the parents think is ok.

Also there's no way anyone is in a tent in the garden - the property has a very small yard that backs on to the main road and you would be able to see a tent if that was the case.

OP’s posts: |
CottonSock Fri 10-Jul-20 18:50:04

You have done what you can. What a totally idiotic thing an adult has done.

PurpleButterflyAway Fri 10-Jul-20 19:17:39

Oh wow, glad you phoned!

savagebaggagemaster Fri 10-Jul-20 20:19:26

Well done, OP. You've done the right thing.

VioletGrace Fri 10-Jul-20 20:28:05

You've done totally the right thing, OP. They sound, at best, highly irresponsible.

VioletGrace Fri 10-Jul-20 23:05:25

Any update, OP? Did the police visit them?

Emeraldshamrock Sat 11-Jul-20 01:43:49

You done the right thing it isn't an easy step it is important to act, I know many on mumsnet prefer closed curtains for all different reasons but with the added concerns.
Sorry for the sun link I wondered why didn't the neighbour's notice.

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