Folk in Dundee multi ‘terrified to let children out’ due to needle finds and anti-social behaviour

People living in a Dundee tower block say they are terrified to let their children out to play as antisocial issues “spiral out of control”.

Barry Lamont, who stays in the Hilltown Court multi
The four multis at the bottom of the Hilltown

 

Shocked residents have documented in the past week alone issues with used needles, heroin wraps and tinfoil lying in a tower block at the foot of the city’s Hilltown.

Barry Lamont, 26, has witnessed it all first hand after living in Hilltown Court for more than five years.

The former St John’s High pupil said his two young sons are living in a “prison” over the summer holidays as he daren’t let them out to play in the local area.

He said: “Since my time living here the situation is getting worse.

“I’ve documented all the drug paraphernalia I’ve seen in the last week in and around the close.

“I can’t let my kids out to play as I’m finding needles on a daily basis.

“I can’t even let them touch the bannister in the block as people are spitting on it and urinating on it.

“We have people trying to access the block at all times of the day and night to get access to drugs.

“The sad thing is that, for my kids now, this is a way of life. I don’t want to bring them up here – the antisocial issues are spiralling out of control.

“My fear is that people are only going to take notice of these issues once something bad happens, like a child being jagged by a needle.”

Another local, who declined to be named, said of the situation: “My two daughters live there. As a parent I must admit I am concerned by the amount of drug-related issues in the area.

“I don’t think this is a new problem for the Hilltown.

“If there was more CCTV, police and community warden patrols it might go some way towards alleviating the issues.

“There are a lot of young kids who live in the block and you do fear that a kid might fall or trip and land on a needle.”

Margaret Wemyss, chairwoman of the Coldside Neighbourhood Forum, said people had a right to feel safe in their own homes.

She added: “It’s important to say the vast majority of people in the Hilltown are good folk.

“Unfortunately there is also a minority giving the area a bad reputation.

“There used to be a waiting list to get into these tower blocks. Now it appears there is a waiting list to get out of them.

“It isn’t a case that people don’t like the houses they are living in but, with the ongoing issues, you can’t blame them for being concerned.

“We’ve had people coming to us in the past regarding concerns about antisocial behaviour in that part of the Coldside ward.

“Quite often it is issues with drug paraphernalia, blood and human excrement being found in and around blocks.

“The trouble is I think some people are afraid to speak out.

“There is a fear factor that there might be repercussions if they do.”

Margaret said the neighbourhood forum had been running for more than 10 years and the issues surrounding drugs are not new problems.

She added: “There has been a lot of money thrown into drug rehabilitation and clearly something isn’t working.

“There needs to be a different approach.”

Coldside councillor Mark Flynn added: “What has been reported is completely unacceptable.

“I will be bringing this to the attention of the council’s community safety and protection team.

“I would ask residents to report any antisocial behaviour directly to the council’s antisocial behaviour team and, if necessary, Police Scotland.

“Also, if anyone was to come across any drug-related litter they should report its location to the city council as soon as possible. The rapid response team will deal with it safely.”

Dundee City Council has been approached for comment.

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