ELDERLY and vulnerable people living in a Leigh retirement housing complex say they have been subjected to “appalling” levels of violence, antisocial behaviour and neglect.

A growing number of incidents sparked by “drunkenness and mental health issues” at Yantlet, in London Road, came to a head on August 1 when armed police swarmed the building to tackle a man allegedly in possession of a bow and arrows.

Residents in the properties, which are managed by South Essex Homes, say they were ordered to lockdown as armed officers, a helicopter, drone, seven police cars and 15 police officers attended the incident.

READ MORE >> Housing bosses aware of ‘vexatious and abusive’ issues at housing complex

In a separate incident on Sunday, August 13, a resident was left with a cut to her face and a bruised eye. A woman was arrested but no-one was charged.

In April, a resident allegedly started “throwing knives” at a neighbouring building and destroyed a painstakingly cared-for garden.

Leslie Parris, chairman of the Yantlet’s residents’ association said: “There are two main problems. One is a failure to vet who is coming into the property, bearing in mind it’s a sheltered housing scheme.

“The second problem is the alleged counselling that South Essex Homes are giving. A tenant who caused £1,500 of damage through a mental breakdown was receiving visits from South Essex Homes ‘mentors’. They are tenancy officers. They are not social workers.”

Residents also claims “youths have been breaking into the grounds and stairwells”.

Mr Parris, 73, added: “It’s a policy to integrate people into society and I wholly agree with it, but they need to be managed by professionals who can identify key points that show it isn’t working and it needs to be taken to another stage. That’s never happened.

“We are happy to have people as neighbours who have mental or physical issues.

“We will integrate them into our social life, our barbecues, our meetings, our bingo, and fish and chip supper nights.

“But if they are not monitored properly by professionals, and an incident escalates, that’s down to SEH.”

General neglect of the building is also adding to residents’ woes. A careline system installed in 1963 often sends false alerts, residents have claimed.