Abusive intruders lay waste to flat blocks

CALLS have been made for greater security after intruders held a party in two Swiss Cottage tower blocks and made threats to residents

Marc Mullen

CALLS have been made for greater security after intruders held a party in two Swiss Cottage tower blocks and made threats to residents.

Four men with dogs and two women woke up residents in Dorney last Sunday morning as they drank and smoked drugs on the 22nd floor of the tower block on Adelaide Road.

The intruders, who sprayed graffiti over the walls of the 21st and 22nd floors, entered the block as the communal doors had been left unlocked by workmen carrying out renovations.

And when some plucky residents asked them to leave, they were verbally abused and threatened.

Mandy Ryan, who lives on the 22nd floor, said: "They weren't kids, they were in their 20s. They are just taking the mickey out of society.

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"I was with my two children and they asked me disgusting things. They were very threatening. It was quite scary - what are you supposed to do?

"My youngest is 10, and my 17-year-old son has special needs. He was very shaken by it.

"I called the police and it took them an hour to get out here. I felt totally let down.

"Then they said they couldn't do anything because they couldn't find any pens or spray cans on them.

"At the moment it is just open house in here because the doors are left open. It's ridiculous."

When the intruders left, residents found the lift doors had also been covered in graffiti and the circuit board ripped out.

Burnham tower block also fell prey to the vandals, and now residents' groups are calling for CCTV at the entrances to the blocks.

Hasan Shah, chairman of the Burnham Residents' Association, said: "One elderly resident came out of his front door to find them urinating all over the floor. He was then subjected to abuse.

"It's unacceptable. If the council don't install CCTV then we will do it ourselves, and record whatever goes on 24 hours a day - that should give the police enough evidence."

Flats on the Chalcots estate - Bray, Burnham, Dorney, Taplow and Blashford tower blocks - are being given a facelift as part of a £65million PFI refurbishment project.

Nigel Rumble, leaseholder representative for the estate, has called for the contractor Rydon to carry out an investigation into the vandalism.

A council spokeswoman said: "Camden Council takes matters of this nature very seriously.

"While it is difficult for us to confirm why these individuals were on site, we can confirm that this was an isolated incident.

"The graffiti in the car park has since been painted over and we are currently working to remove any internal graffiti.

"We have made the construction contractors aware of the situation and have advised contractors to ensure that the entry doors of blocks where they are working are closed at the end of every working day.

"In the event that the door entry system fails, residents are advised to contact Camden Council immediately on 020-7974 4444 to report the problem."