Call for 24/7 tower block guards

Echo: Quantock flats, Chichester Road, Southend Quantock flats, Chichester Road, Southend

CALLS have been made for 24-hour security for four notorious Southend town centre tower blocks in a bid to stop drunks, drug addicts and homeless people getting in.

The call from tenants of the Quantock, Malvern, Chichester and Pennine flats comes after an Echo investigation exposed security lapses with entrance doors at all the blocks and evidence of heroin being injected in the stairwells.

An Echo reporter was able to get inside all four tower blocks due to faulty locks which are only supposed to open with an electronic key fob.

Inside the Pennine flats there was a man on the 13th floor who said he had spent the night there as he was homeless.

When he left, there was a discarded syringe and pools of blood and urine.

Tenants and former tenants also condemned South Essex Homes, which manages the blocks for Southend Council, and the authority for failing to do more, amid claims these problems have plagued the flats for more than a decade.

They took to Facebook and the Echo website to vent their frustration.

Steph Memczak said: “So, South Essex Homes never actually did what it said it would then. It said, back in 2011 I think, it would trial various schemes to improve this and still nothing. I am not surprised.”

Jo Cheesman said: “The money they can save on repairs from the homeless and mess the drug takers leave could pay for 24-hour security guards.”

Brian Woodham added: “We need 24/7 security guards and better management.

“As regards paying for it, the council needs to review the way it spends the budget.

“A new library was nice to have. Secure and quality housing is a must. Doesn’t take too much working out does it?”

However, the council and South Essex Homes are satisfied CCTV is enough after repairing the lock faults exposed by our investigation.

A South Essex Homes spokeswoman said: “The buildings and the surrounding area are already monitored 24/7 by CCTV, which was upgraded in 2012 to utilise the latest digital technology.

“We can confirmwe inspected all the entrance doors to the tower blocks and all necessary repairs were undertaken.”

A council spokesman added: “We are considering a range of options regarding the town centre tower blocks, as well as their associated financial implications.

“Given their collective size with some 420 individual households, it’s not a simple procedure in terms of the logistics involved and will take some time “We want to make sure anything we might do in the future is right for the town and best for the tenants.”

Comments (15)

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6:09am Fri 7 Feb 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.
Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 10

7:02am Fri 7 Feb 14

Happy Chickie says...

Keptquiettillnow wrote:
Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.
But are guards the answer? Some security guards are a joke.
Unless you get a seriously big guy manning the place I don't think it would help. I know if I was a guard and some thugs wanted in, I'd be petrified.
[quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.[/p][/quote]But are guards the answer? Some security guards are a joke. Unless you get a seriously big guy manning the place I don't think it would help. I know if I was a guard and some thugs wanted in, I'd be petrified. Happy Chickie
  • Score: 7

7:41am Fri 7 Feb 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Happy Chickie wrote:
Keptquiettillnow wrote:
Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.
But are guards the answer? Some security guards are a joke.
Unless you get a seriously big guy manning the place I don't think it would help. I know if I was a guard and some thugs wanted in, I'd be petrified.
But they are not thugs as such, keep the unwelcome out of the building and outside the perimeter, but Security can only go so far, then a call to police to come and sort out what security are having trouble with, can't see some druggies and scruffy old pi$$heeds being too much of a problem, you don't need 'big' guys just well trained ones from a decent security company, ask several firms to bid for the contract, how hard can it be, seems easy enough when security handle events around the borough, sounds like SEH are not up to the job awarded them.
[quote][p][bold]Happy Chickie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.[/p][/quote]But are guards the answer? Some security guards are a joke. Unless you get a seriously big guy manning the place I don't think it would help. I know if I was a guard and some thugs wanted in, I'd be petrified.[/p][/quote]But they are not thugs as such, keep the unwelcome out of the building and outside the perimeter, but Security can only go so far, then a call to police to come and sort out what security are having trouble with, can't see some druggies and scruffy old pi$$heeds being too much of a problem, you don't need 'big' guys just well trained ones from a decent security company, ask several firms to bid for the contract, how hard can it be, seems easy enough when security handle events around the borough, sounds like SEH are not up to the job awarded them. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 4

7:48am Fri 7 Feb 14

Happy Chickie says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
Happy Chickie wrote:
Keptquiettillnow wrote:
Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.
But are guards the answer? Some security guards are a joke.
Unless you get a seriously big guy manning the place I don't think it would help. I know if I was a guard and some thugs wanted in, I'd be petrified.
But they are not thugs as such, keep the unwelcome out of the building and outside the perimeter, but Security can only go so far, then a call to police to come and sort out what security are having trouble with, can't see some druggies and scruffy old pi$$heeds being too much of a problem, you don't need 'big' guys just well trained ones from a decent security company, ask several firms to bid for the contract, how hard can it be, seems easy enough when security handle events around the borough, sounds like SEH are not up to the job awarded them.
Apologies, thugs was the wrong word. I agree well trained ones would be ideal. Hopefully the problem can be sorted out, sooner rather than later for the decent people who live there.
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Happy Chickie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.[/p][/quote]But are guards the answer? Some security guards are a joke. Unless you get a seriously big guy manning the place I don't think it would help. I know if I was a guard and some thugs wanted in, I'd be petrified.[/p][/quote]But they are not thugs as such, keep the unwelcome out of the building and outside the perimeter, but Security can only go so far, then a call to police to come and sort out what security are having trouble with, can't see some druggies and scruffy old pi$$heeds being too much of a problem, you don't need 'big' guys just well trained ones from a decent security company, ask several firms to bid for the contract, how hard can it be, seems easy enough when security handle events around the borough, sounds like SEH are not up to the job awarded them.[/p][/quote]Apologies, thugs was the wrong word. I agree well trained ones would be ideal. Hopefully the problem can be sorted out, sooner rather than later for the decent people who live there. Happy Chickie
  • Score: 4

8:32am Fri 7 Feb 14

pembury53 says...

Happy Chickie wrote:
DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
Happy Chickie wrote:
Keptquiettillnow wrote: Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.
But are guards the answer? Some security guards are a joke. Unless you get a seriously big guy manning the place I don't think it would help. I know if I was a guard and some thugs wanted in, I'd be petrified.
But they are not thugs as such, keep the unwelcome out of the building and outside the perimeter, but Security can only go so far, then a call to police to come and sort out what security are having trouble with, can't see some druggies and scruffy old pi$$heeds being too much of a problem, you don't need 'big' guys just well trained ones from a decent security company, ask several firms to bid for the contract, how hard can it be, seems easy enough when security handle events around the borough, sounds like SEH are not up to the job awarded them.
Apologies, thugs was the wrong word. I agree well trained ones would be ideal. Hopefully the problem can be sorted out, sooner rather than later for the decent people who live there.
the problem is this ridiculous nanny state.......... in the US and many other countries security guards would have battons and pepper sprays to deter such thugs....... in this country your expected to defend yourself with nothing more than harsh language..... that said, as already stated, these are not thugs
[quote][p][bold]Happy Chickie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Happy Chickie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: Something should be done to help the decent people who live in the tower blocks. Completely wrong the way their lives are dominated by drug users etc.[/p][/quote]But are guards the answer? Some security guards are a joke. Unless you get a seriously big guy manning the place I don't think it would help. I know if I was a guard and some thugs wanted in, I'd be petrified.[/p][/quote]But they are not thugs as such, keep the unwelcome out of the building and outside the perimeter, but Security can only go so far, then a call to police to come and sort out what security are having trouble with, can't see some druggies and scruffy old pi$$heeds being too much of a problem, you don't need 'big' guys just well trained ones from a decent security company, ask several firms to bid for the contract, how hard can it be, seems easy enough when security handle events around the borough, sounds like SEH are not up to the job awarded them.[/p][/quote]Apologies, thugs was the wrong word. I agree well trained ones would be ideal. Hopefully the problem can be sorted out, sooner rather than later for the decent people who live there.[/p][/quote]the problem is this ridiculous nanny state.......... in the US and many other countries security guards would have battons and pepper sprays to deter such thugs....... in this country your expected to defend yourself with nothing more than harsh language..... that said, as already stated, these are not thugs pembury53
  • Score: 1

9:12am Fri 7 Feb 14

InTheKnowOk says...

They will end up prisoners in their own homes if something isn't done soon ..
They will end up prisoners in their own homes if something isn't done soon .. InTheKnowOk
  • Score: 2

9:19am Fri 7 Feb 14

profondo asbo says...

this will fix nothing. the security guard will just be added to the payroll of the drug distributors. zero tolerance is the only way (ground zero - brother can you spare some napalm?)
this will fix nothing. the security guard will just be added to the payroll of the drug distributors. zero tolerance is the only way (ground zero - brother can you spare some napalm?) profondo asbo
  • Score: 3

10:15am Fri 7 Feb 14

ColonelSpiffSpaff says...

Get a few residents together and patrol the place yourself
Get a few residents together and patrol the place yourself ColonelSpiffSpaff
  • Score: 1

12:38pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ary1042 says...

Tower blocks were a good idea in theory when they were built. But time has proved they are a terrible idea with blocks being gradually demolished around the country. About time these blocks were demolished as well.
Tower blocks were a good idea in theory when they were built. But time has proved they are a terrible idea with blocks being gradually demolished around the country. About time these blocks were demolished as well. ary1042
  • Score: 2

12:38pm Fri 7 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

ColonelSpiffSpaff wrote:
Get a few residents together and patrol the place yourself
Good idea, as the ratio to working non working is 10 to 1 in those blocks
[quote][p][bold]ColonelSpiffSpaff[/bold] wrote: Get a few residents together and patrol the place yourself[/p][/quote]Good idea, as the ratio to working non working is 10 to 1 in those blocks You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: 3

1:07pm Fri 7 Feb 14

RochfordRob says...

A South Essex Homes spokeswoman said: “The buildings and the surrounding area are already monitored 24/7 by CCTV, which was upgraded in 2012 to utilise the latest digital technology.

I suggest you ask for a refund love - seems they don't do what they are meant to do. (at huge expense no doubt)
A South Essex Homes spokeswoman said: “The buildings and the surrounding area are already monitored 24/7 by CCTV, which was upgraded in 2012 to utilise the latest digital technology. I suggest you ask for a refund love - seems they don't do what they are meant to do. (at huge expense no doubt) RochfordRob
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Fri 7 Feb 14

rude boy says...

The CCTV is only in the lifts and the outside off the building really. And also the two team leaders that walk about with tea in there hands to actually help out and stop thinking there better then the caretakers and work with them not against them! The ones I see work there bums off n still get treated like the lowest of the low
The CCTV is only in the lifts and the outside off the building really. And also the two team leaders that walk about with tea in there hands to actually help out and stop thinking there better then the caretakers and work with them not against them! The ones I see work there bums off n still get treated like the lowest of the low rude boy
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Fri 7 Feb 14

the25man says...

Why should all council tax payers have to pay for guards make the residents of the tower blocks pay for them if security is that important. Those people that get in and use the stairs for either shelter or to get fix will only move somewhere else. The car parks that have just been knocked down was there place for night use.
Why should all council tax payers have to pay for guards make the residents of the tower blocks pay for them if security is that important. Those people that get in and use the stairs for either shelter or to get fix will only move somewhere else. The car parks that have just been knocked down was there place for night use. the25man
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Alekhine says...

Not tonight, you're not on the list.
Oi!- no trainers.
Not tonight, you're not on the list. Oi!- no trainers. Alekhine
  • Score: -1

8:05pm Sat 8 Feb 14

essex bad boy says...

ColonelSpiffSpaff wrote:
Get a few residents together and patrol the place yourself
We will answer that for you numpty,
A. We are not allowed to take the law into our own hands,

B. We as residents should be able to use our homes without fear, ohhh how about we congregate at your home urinate in the area and put dirty needles in your property, how about we gate crash your back garden or alley way, or how about standing next your front door and commit crimes and leave allsorts of dirt in your alleyway, nah you wouldn't like it would you? umm so why should we.

C. As members of the public we have no powers, unless we see you smoking dope, then what, you scumbags cry leave us alone we are not doing any harm, if this was the case go to your gaff and do it not at ours, you are filthy rotten USERS go home and do it. If as you say a resident caught you committing a crime like smoking dope and detained you till Police arrived you would claim false imprisonment, guess what the Police would probably nick the person doing the stop.

I personally think if you smoke dope or take illegal drugs and are found with positive traces in your system you should be immediately evicted from social housing. How about that? nah that WILL NEVER HAPPEN YOU HAVE RIGHTS, BUT GUESS WHAT so do we as residents of the tower blocks, THIS IS OUR HOME respect that.

YOU would be the first to complain if this happened at your property.
[quote][p][bold]ColonelSpiffSpaff[/bold] wrote: Get a few residents together and patrol the place yourself[/p][/quote]We will answer that for you numpty, A. We are not allowed to take the law into our own hands, B. We as residents should be able to use our homes without fear, ohhh how about we congregate at your home urinate in the area and put dirty needles in your property, how about we gate crash your back garden or alley way, or how about standing next your front door and commit crimes and leave allsorts of dirt in your alleyway, nah you wouldn't like it would you? umm so why should we. C. As members of the public we have no powers, unless we see you smoking dope, then what, you scumbags cry leave us alone we are not doing any harm, if this was the case go to your gaff and do it not at ours, you are filthy rotten USERS go home and do it. If as you say a resident caught you committing a crime like smoking dope and detained you till Police arrived you would claim false imprisonment, guess what the Police would probably nick the person doing the stop. I personally think if you smoke dope or take illegal drugs and are found with positive traces in your system you should be immediately evicted from social housing. How about that? nah that WILL NEVER HAPPEN YOU HAVE RIGHTS, BUT GUESS WHAT so do we as residents of the tower blocks, THIS IS OUR HOME respect that. YOU would be the first to complain if this happened at your property. essex bad boy
  • Score: 2

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