Dog fighting and drug dealing blights St Albans flats

DRUG dealing and dog fighting taking place at council-owned flats in St Albans are just some of the alleged anti-social behaviour problems that have come to light following the death of a 58-year-old woman.

An inquest recently found Christine Barrett, who lived in Bardwell Court, accidentally consumed a lethal combination of painkillers and alcohol after being driven to drink because of her noisy neighbours.

According to other tenants, who claim they have also fallen victim to anti-social behaviour happening at the flats, action is now being taken to address the nuisance problems.

But they believe it is extremely sad it has taken Ms Barrett’s death to highlight the ongoing situation.

Among the problems residents have reported feeling unsafe in their homes and not being able to access the communal garden because “dangerous” dogs are being let loose.

One tenant, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It is like being held to ransom in your own home.

“I can completely sympathise with Christine’s situation. Her death was a gruesome way to highlight the issue.”

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Herts police confirmed between April and May this year they received a number of calls reporting drug dealing taking place at an address in Bardwell Court and subsequently carried out a warrant at the premises.

They also said in July they “dealt with the parties involved” in relation to a call about a dog fight.

A spokesman commented: “We take any complaint from residents extremely seriously and will continue to take swift action on any issues or concerns raised.

“We continue to work closely with residents and our partner agencies to find long-term solutions.”

Another resident also said they were visited by a police officer last week who urged them to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour.

One said: “The one thing that made me feel safe again was the police coming round last week. It seems like something is moving now but it took a year and a death. It is too late now for Christine.”

St Albans district council, which owns the Bardwell Court flats, said they have been responding to concerns about anti-social behaviour since last October.

When contacted by the Herts Advertiser the council said they were unable to comment further due to ongoing legal proceedings to help resolve the issue.