Good evening all,
I live on Bath Terrace
, off Harper Rd and last night, sometime between 8.45pm and 1.20am my living room window was smashed by a concrete brick. It must have been hurled with some force from my shed roof, which would have been accessed from garage roofs behind my back garden.
I’m not aware of having any enemies, so am hoping it was random.
I discovered the carnage after getting home around 1.20am and I called the police, who arrived quickly at about 2am. Despite being sympathetic and friendly, they said they would be unable to fingerprint the smooth-ish concrete block. They gave me a crime number and left, giving the impression I would not be hearing from them again and that nothing could or would be followed up / investigated.
I slept in the living room, as I could not go upstairs with a wholly open and vulnerable downstairs.
At 8.45am I called Southwark Council
Housing repair dept., who said someone would be with me within 2 hours to board up the house to make it safe. 2.5hrs later I called again to ask whether they were still on their way and was told that they had already been. I insisted this hadn’t been the case as I had been waiting downstairs vigilantly, even popping my head out to look for them every 5 minutes or so. I was told the job would need to be ‘re-raised’ and I would need to wait another ‘up to 2 hrs’, this call took 26 minutes, mainly on hold.
Another 2 hrs passed then I received a call from a building services engineer to tell me he was outside my home, so I immediately went out to greet him. He wasn’t anywhere to been seen and it transpired he had been sent to ‘Bath Close’ – in SE15. He told me that he would come to the right address and be with me in 20 minutes-ish.
Another hour passed, so I called Southwark Council
again, to ask if their engineer was still on his way. It was now 2pm (more than 5 hours later after I first was told ‘2 hours’). I was told that because the job had been ‘raised’ to the wrong address, it would need to be ‘re-raised’ for the THIRD time. They were unaware that the engineer still hadn’t attended, or that he’d been sent to the wrong place. I explained I was not able to wait in a further 2 hours, as I needed to pick my child up from school, yet I couldn’t leave the vulnerable property as it was. So (another 25 minutes on hold later), I was promised someone would be with me in 20 minutes.
Luckily someone finally arrived 30 minutes later to ‘board’ me up (a good look!) and was able to complete the job in 10 minutes. He told me that he had ‘been sitting in his van all day and hadn’t been given any jobs’. I privately despair… As he leaves I am handed a card saying that I need to wait 5 working days to be contacted by the council about the re-glazing. It’s Friday on a Bank Holiday weekend and they don’t work on Saturdays, even in emergencies. He says it could be weeks before I am re-glazed. He advises me however that the council can send people quicker, if I am a high priority case (which for various reasons he says I am) and to call again to try and speed things up.
So, at 4pm I call the council again and they agree that my appointment with the ‘engineers’ should be booked in for ASAP - but even then the earliest would be Tues / Weds / Thurs next week. However, the lady tried for over 20 minutes (with me on hold again) to contact ANY engineer, but was unable to, because they had all finished for the day. I’m told that I’m not permitted to find a private, registered emergency glazer as the council will not be reimburse me for any private work, even though the repair is supposedly covered by buildings insurance. I must wait until Tuesday for an update.
During the course of the afternoon I found 2 community support officers, who I asked to come to my flat. I asked if there could be a possibility of them personally, or the police, being able to ask the neighbours - or the residents of the properties which directly overlook ‘the scene’ at the back of my home - if anyone saw or heard anything. Again they were friendly, but explained that they were finishing soon and that they wouldn’t be back on duty until Tuesday. After some persistence, they said they would try and ask around after the Bank Holiday. I pointed out that people probably wouldn’t remember specifics / anything by then (people and kids climb on the roofs every day to add to confusion) – they agreed, but they said they would be in touch on Tuesday. I don’t know if the ‘other team’ on duty over the weekend will be made aware… I’m told that an investigation cannot take place without ‘information’, I wonder how they come across ‘information’ if they do not do any kind of investigation…? I’m also told to call 999 ‘if I see them again’ - this is after they knew that I was out when it happened, so I had been unable to ‘see them’.
I feel really disheartened at the general incompetence I’ve encountered today - and the lack of effort or genuine care by ‘our’ council and police. I’ve been a leaseholder for 9 years and paid all my Service charges, council tax (and income tax etc…).
Negligence to deal with issues effectively, or to a conclusion, must breed a wonderful air of confidence in vandals / criminals. No-one will catch them, no-one cares.
More and more people that care about their home environment and having a community will leave the area and degeneration will inevitably spiral further? Ironically this will lead to more 'issues' for the council and the police to deal with, with increasing ineffectiveness...?
Anyway, thanks for reading my vent – and please get in touch if you heard or saw anything or anyone climbing on the garage roofs behind Bath Terrace
, I would be very grateful of information!