Residents of a Helensburgh block of flats are demanding action against antisocial youths who they say are leaving common areas in their block in a “revolting” state.

The long-standing issues at Maitland Court have seen residents harassed and bothered by youths who do not live in the building.

Residents of one section of the building say they are having to cope with threatening behaviour, litter, people using the stairwell as a toilet, and drug usage on a daily basis.

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Eleanor Blackwood, who lives in Maitland Court and is a tenant of Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA), says the problem doesn't lie with the residents themselves.

She said: “I’ve been here for years, and I love it. Everyone in Maitland Court is great and there’s no problem with the children who live here.

“We have to put up with youths doing the toilet, but I’ve got loads of grandchildren, and I have to walk them through the smell of weed.

“My grandson who’s now six, at the age of four knew the smell of weed.

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“There’s a lady who passed away in one of the flats and the back entrance to her flat is used for parties.

“When I go out with the dog at night that’s the way I have to go through to get to the bins, and you get threatened.

“I tried to go out with the dog and I couldn’t go because there was smashed glass [in the way].

“I’ve even had my dog threatened, and so has my neighbour.”

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Despite meetings with the police and ACHA, Eleanor says no long-term solutions have been put in place.

Residents have confirmed that rubbish is occasionally cleared by ACHA after complaints, but pleas for security cameras and controlled entry systems have not resulted in action.

ACHA resident Joe Richmond lives in the building alongside his partner and young children.

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He said: “I don’t want to have to use a stairwell that’s used as a toilet.

“There’re multiple stairwells in Maitland Court and it's like night and day - some are fresh and clean and mine is just revolting.

“I’ve got young kids and my girlfriend has got a dog. I literally have to look at the floor now to make sure it’s safe.

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“I completely agree that it’s the residents’ responsibility to maintain the stairwell, but should we be expected to pick up drug paraphernalia and scrub it because it’s being used as a toilet?

“I honestly think putting cameras in place will [fix the issue].”

The Advertiser reported on Maitland Court residents' concerns in January 2020, and again in July 2021.

On each occasion ACHA said that the layout of Maitland Court meant no controlled entry system would keep the whole block secure, and pointed out that because the residents in the block are a mixture of tenants and owner-occupiers, securing agreement from them all to contribute to the cost of measures aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour was a long-running challenge.

In response to residents’ latest complaints, Helensburgh police say they are taking action and highlighted that locals should call 101 to report incidents.

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A spokesperson said: “In response to community concerns we have increased our presence to make sure we get an understanding of what is going on.

“We would encourage anyone who experiences anti-social behaviour to report it to us via 101 so that we are fully sighted as to what is happening.

“We are liaising with our partners in Argyll and Bute Council and local housing associations to ensure we are sharing information to maximise our response.

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“It only takes a few individuals misbehaving to cause misery for others.

“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will ensure any reports are policed robustly.

"Any information we get suggesting that residents are allowing their properties to be misused will be shared with the relevant landlord.”

A spokesperson from ACHA said: "We are aware of the ongoing issues at specific locations at Maitland Court.

"This block is multi-tenure and ACHA owns 30 out of 68 properties in the blocks.

"Any physical works would require the support of the private owners and we continue to engage with owners over possible solutions.

"Members of ACHA staff carry our regular inspections at Maitland Court and an estate inspection was carried out together with residents just before Christmas.

"We will take remedial action on any issues that are within our control.

"We continue to work closely with partner agencies who are also involved and we would ask residents to continue to report any anti-social behaviour or criminal activity to Police Scotland."