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Vulnerable Dagenham residents complain about doggers taking advantage of broken security gate

PUBLISHED: 17:55 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:55 24 July 2019

Inside Mitchell Close. The development was designed to home vulnerable people in the borough. Picture: Luke Acton.

Inside Mitchell Close. The development was designed to home vulnerable people in the borough. Picture: Luke Acton.

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Vulnerable residents in a council new-build say they have had to deal with people having sex and defecating outside their homes after the gate that was supposed to protect them failed around five weeks ago.

Linda and Tim Wigmore's home. Picture: Luke Acton.Linda and Tim Wigmore's home. Picture: Luke Acton.

Mitchell Close was commissioned by the council to help people who are elderly or disabled. All the properties have only one floor.

The gate was reported broken after the bin men were let in. Since then, many of the residents said they have made repeated calls to the council to try and get the problem fixed.

They all moved in when the property opened in June 2018. Linda Wigmore, 72, is one of them. She said: "We have all sorts coming in here now these gates are broken.

"They were dogging [having sex in public] in the car. That was two weeks ago."

June Allen's home is at the front of the development. She feels especially vulnerable. “I won’t open that door,” she said. Picture: Luke Acton.June Allen's home is at the front of the development. She feels especially vulnerable. “I won’t open that door,” she said. Picture: Luke Acton.

She added the incident was on a week day, at around noon.

As all the houses face the road, with the majority of their windows also facing that direction, the people living in these houses have little choice but to see what's happening on their doorstep.

Linda's husband, 71-year-old Tim Wigmore, said: "We have cars that come in here. We have no option but to see it.

"We don't have to put our nose into it. It's there, we have to see it."

The gate on Mitchell Close. The arm on the left is stuck semi-open, so the residents can even lock and open the gate by themselves. Picture: Luke Acton.The gate on Mitchell Close. The arm on the left is stuck semi-open, so the residents can even lock and open the gate by themselves. Picture: Luke Acton.

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Linda and Tim live at the end of the close.

Residents spoken to by the Post also said there had been confusion over who was responsible for repairing the gate.

Jerram Falkus Construction built the development. Its spokeswoman said the defects period and warranties on the properties are now expired and are now the responsibility of the council.

The sign for Mitchell Close. Picture: Luke Acton.The sign for Mitchell Close. Picture: Luke Acton.

The council has not responded to a request for comment.

The open gate has also allowed people to come in and relieve themselves. The residents have seen people take a number one and number two just inside their little community.

Brenda, 77, likes her home, but says the broken gate is making it harder to live there.

"I like my place. We all like our places. It's just we don't have any security."

The spot where a couple began having sex in a car on Mitchell Close. Picture: Luke Acton.The spot where a couple began having sex in a car on Mitchell Close. Picture: Luke Acton.

June Allen, 85, lives closest to the gate and feels especially vulnerable.

She said: "I get very nervous at night-time. I'm going to have a camera put in. I won't open that door."

After the Post visited Mitchell Close, a resident said the council and its contractors looked at the gate on July 24 and hope it will be fixed in the next few days.

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