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Yobs run amok at Royal Court again
A HOUSING estate which underwent a £17million transformation to rid it of crime and antisocial behaviour has become a nightmare again, residents claim.
The notorious tower blocks on the Royal Court estate, in Laindon, were knocked down two years ago and replaced with new homes, a community centre and park as part of a joint project between Basildon Council and Family Mosaic housing association.
They had been blighted with long-standing problems of drug dealing and fighting.
Now residents claim problems of antisocial behaviour and vandalism have returned to the estate.
They allege the park, which was built to cater for families, is littered with rubbish and late at night is plagued by gangs of up to 30 youths who shout abuse at passers-by and damage equipment.
Malcolm Straderick, 69, moved out of the tower blocks and into a new home in Murray Court.
He said: “The houses now are much nicer, but we still have the same problems.
“We can hear the teenagers in the park late at night. They pull up trees, climb on to the roofs and destroy bins.
“We even woke up the other morning to find a bench had disappeared.
“All this money has been spent doing the estate up, but people can’t even bring their kids to the park because it looks so dirty.”
Some residents are so terrified, they have installed CCTV cameras outside their homes.
Hannah Gilbone, 23, of Powell Road, said: “I understand there is nothing to do around here, and when I was younger I used to hang around parks, but there is no excuse for the vandalism. I would never do that.
“The other day I heard a group of about 20 of 30 kids shouting abuse at someone as they walked through the park.
“If you’re on your own or especially for older people it can be really intimidating. I’m glad the problems with drug dealing have stopped but nothing else seems to have changed.”
Residents are being urged to raise their concerns rather than sit back and accept the vandalism and antisocial behaviour.
ABasildon Council spokesman said: “We have had no reported issues, but we would advise residents to contact their neighbourhood policing team or 999 in an emergency.”
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