Tenants’ fears over village intruders

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DRUG addicts are invading Wigan’s high rise flats and threatening tenants.

And there have been several flashpoint incidents between rough sleepers and bona fide residents after passageways and entrances to lifts have been blocked by comatose men huddled under makeshift blankets.

Growing fears have been voiced over the potential risk to health from abandoned sharps after Scholes Village’s largely elderly tenants found themselves having to pick their way through abandoned hypodermic needles, as well as beers bottles and human waste.

There was also an amount of fresh blood found on one stairwell which tenants fear could cause infection.

Now a tenant, who doesn’t want to be named, is demanding that Wigan and Leigh Housing tighten security.

It is believed that the intruders are gaining entrance to the flats - principally Woodcock, Mannion, Crompton and to a lesser extent Morris Houses - by “tailgating” legitimate tenants into the blocks during the time lag when the front doors are electronically unlocked and then closed again.

The tenant claims the situation has been on-going for several months but Wigan and Leigh Housing has not been taking it seriously - something the landlord denied today.

The tenant said: “We have concerns about an extremely serious health risk.

“Among the fag ends and the empty beer cans where these people have been sleeping have been hypodermic syringes and needles and you can catch hepatitis off them or worse.

“I have had first hand experience of this on the back stairwell of the third floor of Crompton and I was amazed to find fresh blood on the door.

“This is extremely dangerous if someone with an open cut was attempting to open the door.

“I caught three of them on the rear stairwell again at Crompton and when I challenged them I was subjected to a torrent of abuse. I immediately informed the concierge who told me they would keep them under observation. Why didn’t they inform the police and get them removed?

“It was only due to the vigilance of our cleaner who, I am glad to say, finally got rid of them but then they appear in another block. It has been reported to Wigan and Leigh Housing many times and it is now time some action was taken.”

Wigan and Leigh Housing chief executive Ashley Crumbley said the flats’ security measures were of “an extremely high standard,” including security gates and entrance doors, 24-hour CCTV monitoring and a concierge.

He added: “The CCTV cameras and concierge service have been improved in recent weeks. Around 800 tenants and leaseholders live in the flats and access through the security systems is gained by using a pass.

“Visitors without a pass are challenged by concierge staff. While we have endeavoured to make the flats as secure as possible, we ask residents to be security conscious when entering and leaving the buildings.

“We take all complaints very seriously and urge residents to provide us with information about specific incidents or concerns as soon as possible so that we can investigate.”