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News Archive > General > LIVING ‘HELL’ St Austell landlady’s anger at increase in anti social behaviour

LIVING ‘HELL’ St Austell landlady’s anger at increase in anti social behaviour

By Natasha Swift 20th January 2021

LIVING ‘HELL’ St Austell landlady’s anger at increase in anti social behaviour

A St Austell landlady has warned that residents in Gover will be forced to take matters into their owns hands if nothing is done about the anti social behaviour making their lives ‘hell’.

Leah Haynes took over the Western Inn in July and her family have been subjected to endless problems with abusive drunks hanging around outside the pub ever since.

Residents living in West Hill have reported seeing intoxicated people having sex in broad daylight, drinking and taking drugs on the bench outside Co-Op, which residents are demanding is removed.

But things took a turn for the worst earlier this month when a brick was thrown through the window of the Western Inn. Leah had been upstairs in the flat above the pub at around 4pm on January 6 when she heard a ‘massive bang’ coming from the bar.

She ran downstairs and saw that someone had put a brick through the door to try and break-in. Her dad, David Morgan, who runs the pub with Leah, went to give chase, but slipped and broke his wrist.

A man, who Leah described as ‘being off his face on drugs and drink’, told her that three men had run past and even offered to give details about what he had seen to the police. But after watching the CCTV footage of the incident, Leah discovered it was the man who had put the brick through the window.

This is the last straw for Leah, who believes the problems are being caused by residents from supported accommodation facility, Cosgarne Hall, which is run by Harbour Housing. She says she is now making a stand on behalf of the community.

Leah has contacted police, Harbour Housing and St Austell MP Steve Double demanding action is taken immediately to end the anti social behaviour, which is blighting residents’ lives.

Leah told the Voice: “Even after the brick was put through the window, we had people shouting abuse up at the flat at 1.15am in the morning. “It affects everyone in this area. Co-Op are having problems and the staff are terrified.

The Chinese takeaway is worried they’ll have a brick through the window. These people are drinking and doing drugs and kicking off all the time.

“At the end of the day these people shouldn’t be allowed to walk around in groups drinking and doing who knows what let alone when we are in lockdown. They should be supervised.

Why are these people who have drink and drug problems, who are trying to be rehabilitated, allowed to walk around unchaperoned.

“People are too scared to speak out, but it’s got to the point now where someone has to.  When we took over the pub we were told to turn it around and we have done that. Times are hard enough with Covid without having to have this as well.”

Leah, who has three children aged 18, 14 and 12, believes removing the bench is the simple answer that would improve residents’ lives.

Last year Cornwall councillor for Gover, Sandra Heyward, asked resident if they would like the bench to be removed or not after being contacted about issues with drug taking and drinking on or around it.

Speaking at the time, councillor Heyward told the Voice she had no intention of removing the bench, but was instead looking at other ways to tackle the anti social behaviour that it attracts.

Leah said: “I want that bench gone. It would improve most of the problems if that bench wasn’t there. It’s a meeting point where they all gather to get drunk.

“No one sits on that bench because they are too scared. Beer cans are littered all underneath it. Something has got to be done now. “If it’s not removed by the council that bench will be moved in the next month or so.

“People will take matters into their own hands. I cannot stand this anymore. It’s making our lives hell. The whole of St Austell has had enough of this.”

A spokesperson from Harbour Housing, which arranged for the damage to be repaired, said: “All our residents know that being involved in antisocial behaviour puts their accommodation
at risk.

“We are proud of the work that we do within our communities and we were happy to offer the assistance of our inhouse facilities management team to immediately board up the pane of glass at The Western Inn and replace it by the next morning.

“Where incidents involving our residents do happen, we will always work with Devon and Cornwall Police and our colleagues in the Safer St Austell partnership to alleviate any issues.”

MP for St Austell, Steve Double, told the Voice: “I can confirm I have received complaints about anti social behaviour from a number of people in the Gover area. “I have raised it with local police and the town council to see if a joined up approach can be taken to resolve these
issues, which are unacceptable in normal times and particularly so during lockdown."

Councillor Heyward said: “As it turns out it is not the bench that is at fault, but groups of inebriated people shouting abuse outside the Western Inn in the early hours of the morning. This not only affects the Western, but the residents who live in the new houses opposite.

“To assist with this, the town council have ensured that the CCTV is set to this position covering the front of the Western for the next week or so. I have also requested that the Covid marshalls cover this area during their shifts.

Cosgarne will also ensure their security patrols cover this area. “BID will let the pub borrow
a Shopwatch radio again with instructions how to use.

“Any further incident needs to be reported so the police will know what is happening so that they can target the area as well.”

By Natasha Swift 20th January 2021

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