Police step in to tackle problem tenants linked to secure hospital

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 May 2017

Archant

A Weston-super-Mare road has been described as a 'frightening' place to live with residents from a locked rehabilitation centre allegedly sneaking out at night and making people in the street afraid to leave their homes.

The Copse, in Beechmount Close on the Oldmixon estate, provides therapy for people with mental health conditions, some of whom are detained under the Mental Health Act.

But residents living in the close and nearby Beechmount Drive say they are frightened because of people leaving the hospital to stand on their driveways and drink, and urinate in the street.

Police are working with North Somerset Council and The Copse to try to solve the ‘complicated issue’.

North Somerset Inspector Sharon Bennett said: “I am sorry to hear residents say it is a frightening place to be.

“We have got to remember these are people are vulnerable themselves and we need to work with the home and North Somerset Council’s safeguarding team.

“We are working with residents and our partners, but this is an example of a complicated issue.

“Correspondence from the home has been reassuring. They don’t want residents urinating in the street and drinking. If particular residents are coming out and causing problems they can do drug tests and alcohol tests.”

Residents met with Inspector Bennett at a neighbourhood watch meeting.

One resident said: “Most residents are retired and live alone and it’s become a frightening experience. It is getting pretty terrible.”

A spokesman for Elysium Healthcare, which runs The Copse, said: “The Copse provides a much-needed rehabilitation service for men and women with mental illness.

“The hospital has always strived to work with the local community in a positive and transparent manner and we are in communication with the local councillor about any concerns the community may have.”

Inspector Bennett said residents have been given sheets so they can start recording incidents as they happen.

This information can then be shared with the council, police and the home.

She said: “Looking at it does take time and I understand it must be frustrating living there.”

She added that the home aims to help people back into the community by giving them leave from the The Copse, but said: “If people are breaking those rules or committing offences, we need to feedback to the home because they may curtail that leave.”

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