BRAZEN drug addicts taking heroin in a city centre block of flats have left families too terrified to leave their homes, The News can reveal.
Young mums living at Idsworth House, in Crasswell Street, admitted they’re regularly forced to run the gauntlet of used needles, passed out drug addicts and floors caked in blood and excrement to leave their homes in the morning.
They say addicts have transformed the two-storey building’s communal stairwell into a drugs den, taking substances at all hours of the day and then leaving their filth scattered for residents to deal with.
On one occasion, one woman living at the block of flats said she was forced to take action into her own hands to kick a gang out to protect her young son.
Now families are demanding tougher action from police and Portsmouth City Council to tackle the problem, which they say has been ramping up in the past few months.
Jessica Warnes is expecting a child in a matter of weeks but is terrified to bring the infant back to her flat.
The 21-year-old, who also has a three-year-old son, said: ‘I’m terrified to leave the flat. I can’t sleep at night. It’s a constant concern and worry that one of these druggies might hurt me.
‘We see them there at all times of days, taking drugs on the stairs. They’ve got crack pipes, used needles and blood all around them.
‘I’m in fear for my safety. I’m scared my little boy will step on a needle going down the stairs.
‘My son is terrified of them. He keeps asking me if the crackheads are on the stairs and is scared every time he hears the communal door slam shut.’
Her partner Sam Barnard, 22, said he is at the end of his tether, claiming he regularly sees addicts passed out first thing in the morning when he heads to work.
One such encounter, captured by the factory worker and shared on Facebook, has since notched more than 15,000 views online.
He added: ‘They’re constantly breaking the locks on the door. It’s a joke. I just want something to be done about it.’
Neighbour Jenna Burdge, 34, lives with her son, Jayden, 13, and is also worried.
She said she and her family have been terrorised by drug addicts who regularly ‘shoot up’ on the stairwell or in the bin shed on the ground floor.
Pharmacy worker Ms Burdge said: ‘I’m scared to sleep at night. I never leave my door open.
‘I have seen blood on the floor. People poo on the floor. Sometimes when my son is going to school there are people taking heroin on the stairs.
‘It’s just disgusting. At one point I had to kick out a gang of five people who were shooting up and taking drugs. That was quite scary because I didn’t know if they were going to turn on me.’
Ms Burdge claimed addicts barge their way into the flats by breaking the lock on the block’s main entrance.
She is now worried about her son’s safety and demanded immediate action was taken to improve safety, by replacing the communal door entirely – not just the locking system.
‘My son is 13, he is at an impressionable age,’ she said. ‘I don’t want some druggy trying to offer him something that will then ruin his life.’
Portsmouth City Council said it has looked into the complaints and has taken action.
James Hill, director of housing at the authority added: ‘We’ve had one report from a resident a few weeks ago which we investigated.
‘Community wardens are in the area regularly and haven’t found any evidence of drug use and we haven’t had any further complaints.
‘The door has been repaired and is secure and we've written to leaseholders to get their agreement for a replacement door.’
Hampshire police confirmed the force had been called by ‘one resident’ about drug use in the stairwell.
The force said it has been in contact with both the housing association and the city council, which has since ‘reviewed and implemented’ new security measures.
Inspector David Ryan added: ‘We will continue to monitor any issues with drug use in the area and encourage anyone who has concerns to report these to police.
‘We will always respond accordingly to information provided to us about drug use in our city in partnership with the relevant agencies.’