Hello, reader. I have a strange story to tell you. Actually, maybe it’s not so strange. Maybe you’ll have heard of something similar too…
On Friday night, I joined a group of friends in the pub after work. We chatted briefly about our day and our week, but eventually conversation got on to other topics. One of my friends, let’s call her Amy, started talking to us about the ongoing and unresolved issue of her noisy, anti-social neighbour who occupies the flat two floors below.
‘…It’s becoming a real issue now. These days I only take the lift up to my flat because the landing on the third floor has become smelly and gross. There are always weird men coming and going from the flat and the smell of stale beer never goes away. In fact, when Dan [Amy’s boyfriend] walked up through the third floor on Sunday morning he said there was human faeces in the corner of the landing.’
We are all disgusted. It sounds awful, and I feel grateful that I am currently living in the warmth and comfort of my parent’s home.
‘And it’s getting worse. I have a feeling it’s some bootleg brothel – the men have started waiting in queue outside, drinking while they’re waiting, making an absolute racket, I can never fall asleep… Then the other day I saw that on the grass just underneath the flat there were used condoms that they had chucked out the window. It’s undermining the safety of the neighbourhood, plus it’s devaluing all the other flats in the building. Three flats have come available in our building in the last month and I can tell you our landlord’ll have real difficulty getting those flats off his hands. And business is obviously good at the moment because when I was walking out of the tube station the other day two men who had been loitering around came over and asked me for directions to get to that flat.’
There was silence for a moment after that, I don’t think anybody really knew what to say. A few people laughed, others tried to joke nervously about it.
Finally I said ‘Amy, I think you need to report this to someone,’
‘Yeah, I sort of have already. I spoke to the porter in our building, but I don’t think he’ll do much,’
‘No I think you should tell the police.’
‘No way, are you joking? I don’t want to implicate myself!’ Amy was looking uncomfortable and defensive now, ‘I won’t get any protection. The police won’t take me seriously, and what if the neighbours find out I’m the one who went to the police?
FREEZE: In this situation, what do you do? Who can you go to for help? Who is equipped to investigate this situation? Can you report this incident anonymously?