Homeless youth slept in warden-controlled flats, Seaton

PUBLISHED: 10:28 09 June 2010 | UPDATED: 12:38 18 June 2010

A HOMELESS youth has been sleeping in the hallway of warden-controlled flats in Seaton and residents have been helpless to move him on.

A HOMELESS youth has been sleeping in the hallway of warden-controlled flats in Seaton and residents have been helpless to move him on.

Marilyn Phillips, 58, from Manor Close, said she called the police because she feared the teenager could become dangerous.

But she said, despite two phone calls and a visit to the station, police initially failed to act and said there was little they could do.

She said: "The man seemed to be in need, but how desperate does he get before he starts breaking-in to properties or breaking down doors?

"Vulnerable people live here and they could be at risk. I'm worried for the other tenants here and am fighting for them."

She said she heard the youth shout that he had been 'stranded' when she asked him to move on.

She argues security is lacking in the flats and is calling for CCTV in the town.

She said when she first spoke to police, she was told they would check the East Devon District Council flats intermittently that night. But the youth was seen leaving the building early the next day.

She added the police have since been in touch and told her to contact them immediately if the youth came back.

Neighbourhood beat manager PC Steve Speariett confirmed the incident had been logged on May 26, at 7.30pm. He said an officer checked the area at 8.10pm, but the youth had gone.

He said: "If people are on private property, then, unless a criminal offence is committed, it will be dealt with as a civil matter.

"But if they are in breach of the peace, or there's a likelihood of it occurring, then we can take the necessary action to remove the person from the premises."

A spokesman for EDDC said it was a police matter, but their mobile support officer had reassured residents that the situation was being monitored.

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