'Why should we live in fear?': Sutton residents speak out about living on lawless street

Welbeck Street, Sutton.
Welbeck Street, Sutton.

A group of teenagers have left residents and traders at the end of their tether as they shout threats out of windows and fight in the street with knives.

A councillor who was seen calling the police by the group while witnessing an altercation on Welbeck Street, Sutton, where the troublemakers meet was verbally threatened.

Councillor Samantha Deakin, who represents the area has said she has a colleague accompany her when she visits the street.

She said: "I witnessed an incident were five of them were kicking off and suddenly there were 20 people on the street.

"They saw I had called the police and they started threatening me out of the windows, saying ‘I know where you live.’

"It isn’t fair why should we live in fear.

"The residents have told me how they jump on cars, when they finish a bottle they smash it.

"People who walk past the street just get abuse, it is just unreal."

The street is made up of private homes - Framework accommodation which has 17 residents aged 16 to 21, and other assisted living accommodation including disabled accommodation.

Framework has said the flats are staffed 24 hours a day and there are always a minimum of two staff on duty.

The charity which supports the young people in the flats has said some of its residents, but not all, are involved in the antisocial behavior.

One resident said the street now has an "intimidating atmosphere", other residents have noted irons swung from windows from the Framework flats and residents climbing down from first-floor windows and climbing back up,

One resident said they have have seen curtain pole thrown out of the framework building onto Outram Street.

The group were also seen fighting with knives on Tuesday, June 5.

One resident said: “They have broken my door in on two occasions.

"It is harassment from day one, it never stops.

"We have had enough, it has got worse.

"For them, it's a party all year round."

Another trader said: "They started off messing around on the street with a football kicking it onto cars when they were younger and they just got away with it, and as they got older they just carried on getting away with it.

"Every noise just sets us on edge.

"They have no respect, they have smashed car windows."

One trader near the street said: "It is an antisocial black spot caused by one group- I think calling it a war-zone is a bit steep.

"It is affecting trade."

Another resident said: "You can't get sleep at night - they are arguing all of the time.

"I tried to confront ten of them and within five minutes there were 30 people on the street.

"The girls are worse than the boys."

Framework’s Chief Executive Andrew Redfern said:“We work hard to be good neighbours in the communities we serve. However, in recent weeks there have been repeated episodes of anti-social behaviour around the service at Welbeck Street.
"Some (but not all) of this has come from within the service. We take this very seriously indeed and are working directly with the local police to address the issue.
"We expect certain standards of behaviour from our residents and will take action against individual service users if these standards are consistently broken.”

To combat the antisocial behavior, Ashfield District Council have installed four CCTV cameras on the street.

Two young people have been arrested and two Framework tenants have been evicted.

Police patrols have been stepped up in the area and Community Protection Officers will be regularly patrolling the area.