Dagenham family plagued by drug addicts

Alice Steadman and her partner Dennis Law with daughter Holly-May are angry about drug users taking

Alice Steadman and her partner Dennis Law with daughter Holly-May are angry about drug users taking drugs in their stairwell. - Credit: Archant

A young mum whose children witnessed a man injecting drugs on a stair well outside her front door has called on the council to make her block of flats safer.

Alice Steadman was on her way to the job centre with her 19-month-old son Matthew when they saw a man inject himself in the arm in the communal stairway leading to their first floor flat in Dagenham on Tuesday afternoon.

And it was not the first time the mum of two had been disturbed by drug users outside her home in Stansgate Road, with her four-year-old daughter Holly-May having seen a man injecting himself too.

“There was blood all up the wall. She was a bit scared. I said nothing because I didn’t know what to tell her. She’s too young to understand. She doesn’t really talk about them. She goes really quiet around them,” Alice said.

“I think she feels that one of them is going to hurt her. I feel at the moment it’s not safe round here. I don’t want to be living round here.”

According to Alice, the users, who can number as many as five, are using the staircase as a place to hide after kicking in a back door.

But in spite of calling on the council to fix the entrance, Alice claims nothing has been done for two months.

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Confronting the addicts on one occasion, a concerned Alice and her partner Dennis Law, 40, warned them CCTV cameras were in the building, but they replied that they didn’t care.

“They are never really aggressive. They keep themselves to themselves. But it’s the fact they leave needles on the stairs and urinate there. It’s disgusting,” she said.

“If my son falls out of his buggy and a needle goes into his hand, I don’t know what I would do,” Alice said.

She added: “It makes me angry because it’s not safe for my kids.”

Now the 23-year-old wants the council to replace the door and put in a new lock to stop the addicts, who according to Alice range in age from 17 to 40, from getting in.

A council spokesman said: “This was reported to us on 28 February. Officers attended the block and spoke to the tenant. All the doors were checked and a door handle replaced.

“Tenants are being written to and have been advised to report any concerns. We are working closely with the police to make the block more secure.”