Rockmills residents ‘no longer feel safe’ in own homes

The Rockmills complex, Strand Road, Derry. DER0715MC050
The Rockmills complex, Strand Road, Derry. DER0715MC050

Residents living in Rockmills have said they no longer feel safe in their own homes after “years of anti-social behaviour”.

Several of the residents who live in the Rockmills housing complex contacted The Derry Journal this week as they are “at their wits end” with what is happening.

One of the residents, who lives alone, left his flat on Sunday to visit his mother but when he returned he discovered that his front door had been forced open and someone had stolen a sum of money from his flat.

“To be honest with you, I have tolerated the anti-social behaviour for years but everything changes when it crosses your door and comes into your house.

“I no longer feel safe in the flat. I am terrified every time I leave the flat to go out because I don’t know what I am coming back to.”

The Rockmills housing complex is owned and managed by Oaklee Trinity Housing Association.

The resident whose home was burgled said he has contacted Oaklee Trinity “countless” times in the past to ask them to invest in and increase their on site security.

“I am a private tenant - I pay rent directly to Oaklee and I believe they have a duty of care to make sure I and other tenants are safe.

“It’s no secret that the Rockmills attracts a certain type of clientele.

“I contacted Oaklee and asked them if they could install more CCTV cameras but they always tell me they have no money.”

Another resident, who also asked not to be named, said sometimes the fire alarm can go off in the middle of the night and because there is no one there to turn it off the sound of the alarm can go on for days.

“I’ve complained to some of the staff about the drug taking, the anti-social behaviour and the other stuff that goes on .

“Oaklee really need sort this problem out. I no longer feel safe in my own home either but I refuse to be forced out,” she said.

When contacted by The Derry Journal a spokesperson for Oaklee Trinity Housing Association said they hope to install a new CCTV system as part of a major investment project for Rockmills.

“Oaklee Trinity take reports of anti-social behaviour seriously.

“Rockmills has building supervisors on duty from 9pm to 5am and has access to additional response security services including CCTV.

“The Sunday night incident was reported to our representatives and is currently being investigated.

“Staff will continue to assist tenants and the police in any way possible.

“All tenants are allocated from the Housing Executive’s Common Selection Scheme.

“Oaklee Trinity has recently embarked on a consultation process with our tenants in Rockmills in relation to a major investment project to refurbish and carry out improvement works across the entire site.

“This will start this year and is estimated to cost £700K.

“This will be the first project of its kind where we will be working with our tenants to help design the project at its very inception to achieve the best outcomes for our tenants.

“It is envisaged that this project will include enhanced CCTV and a building access control system.

“Works will also include; new windows, kitchens, heating, decoration and external landscaping.

“The first meeting of this tenant project group takes place this week.”