Monday, February 18, 2008

"Vulnerable Adults"

There's nothing unusual about this story, via Small Town Scribbles - an everyday story of elderly council tenants having their lives made hell by the people the council (or often, some well-intentioned housing association or charity) move in down the road. But the report's unusually revealing in its use of (the officially sanctioned) language.

Coun Reg Corns, (Con: Northfield) said problems had arisen across the city after the city council allowed sheltered housing schemes to accommodate vulnerable adults, who have issues with drugs and alcohol, to live alongside ordinary pensioners.

So the pensioners aren't the vulnerable ones. Oh no. It's the young smackheads and alkies next door who are 'vulnerable'. The medicalisation of deviance is complete. Robert Doody and his mates are probably registered disabled and in receipt of disability benefit - unlike the pensioners next door.

Concerns about Doody included allegations that his guests were drunk, aggressive and abusive, urinated in communal hallways, swore and banged on doors. Doody was issued with an anti-social behaviour order in June 2007. His suspended sentence followed the jailing of one of his guests for four months. He was sent to prison after breaching an anti-social behaviour injunction barring him from visiting Aire Croft and another sheltered housing scheme, Campion House, in Kings Norton.

Doody's neighbour Richard Wilkes, 65, previously told the Sunday Mercury about the problems and said Birmingham City Council had asked him to keep a diary of the troubles. He said: "There's a man in his 80s who lives in the same block as me, and who isn't able to keep diaries like this. He isn't the only one in this position. We have had court injunctions against one man who visits one of the residents, but nothing seems to make any difference. The courts have ordered him not to threaten us, not to enter the block, not to bang on doors or kick windows in, and not to shout or swear, or throw glass bottles."

Fellow Aire Croft resident Rhoda Olsen, 69, said she was sick of the problems caused by Doody and his guests too. "We constantly have to keep the doors of our blocks locked so that they can't get in," she said. "It is the same with the common room. It's only used once a week now for bingo, but we should be able to use it every day to meet with our neighbours and relax."

Stan Andrews, vice chairman of Birmingham Sheltered Housing Liaison Board, said he was aware of similar problems across the city.

The good news is that the full weight of the law has come down on Mr Doody for his breaches of his ASBO. A 28-day suspended sentence.


Hugh Oxford said...

It's hard to put one's finger on what it is exactly that is so insidious about what's happened to this country under New Labour. Perhaps that's the problem; it's been a kind of sum of attritive factors.

Broadly though - it's this kind of thing. The demoralisation of society, of individuals, a dehumanising ideology. When you abolish evil, you abolish good, and when you abolish good and evil, you abolish what sets man apart from the beasts, and you turn men into animals.

And it's the prioritising. In two years, it's thought that more than half of all children in Glasgow will be brought up in single parent families. And of the remainder, one dreads to think what percentage are living in unmarried households. And yet all New Labour can do is put the boot into marriage.

Sad days for Britain. Sad days.

Scribbles said...

Er, yeah, hugh oxford, or maybe this is just a case of a rubbish local authority shoving innapropriate tenants into sheltered housing meant for the elderly because they couldn't, quite frankly, give a damn about the elderly or anyone else - just their housing stats.

I'm not sure the ASBO team in the council is as good as it could be either, because there is no reason (given New Labours anti-social behaviour initiatives) for it to have taken this much time and effort for tenants to recieve protection from them other than through incompetence or lack of resources - both of which is, again, down to the local council. Who are Tory/Lib Dem led by the way.

Umbongo said...

"The good news is that the full weight of the law has come down on Mr Doody for his breaches of his ASBO. A 28-day suspended sentence."

And just to prove how tough the judiciary can be when their ire is roused, I think we can be fairly certain that if there are any more breaches of that ASBO he'll get a 56-day suspended sentence.