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We need guards at tower blocks
SECURITY guards should be on call for residents of all tower blocks in Southend to make residents feel safer, two councillors have said.
St Luke’s ward councillors Brian Ayling, a South Essex Homes board member, and Paul van Looy, have made the calls following a string of complaints from residents in their ward – which includes Sutton Court.
It also comes after the Echo recently exposed security lapses and found evidence of drug taking at the Quantock, Malvern, Chichester and Pennine flats in Southend town centre.
The councillors suggest the security guards would roam the borough responding to incidents as and when they occur.
Mr van Looy said: “There should be a three month trial period across all tower blocks, where there are two or three security people available for residents to call if they need any help.”
Mr Ayling added: “We realise there would be an initial cost, but long term there would be a saving and satisfaction for residents.”
A resident at Sutton Court, in Pantile Avenue fears non-residents are often in the block and claims he recently saw antisocial behaviour going on.
He also says the block has evidence of drug use as well as pools of blood on the floor, and discarded beer cans.
Jacqueline Lansley, Southend Council’s head of housing, said: “The council is aware of residents’ concerns and in conjunction with South Essex Homes, is exploring a number of possible initiatives aimed at addressing their safety and wellbeing.”
A South Essex Homes spokeswoman said: “We are aware of an incident of antisocial behaviour in the stairwell of Sutton Court, which was reported in the early hours of Sundaymorning.
"This matter is being investigated by Essex Police and the Antisocial Behaviour Response Team.”