RESIDENTS are hoping a tirade of antisocial behaviour will soon end after permission was granted for a gate at Brighton’s nightmare alleyway.
Couple Hughie and Chris O’Neill of Pool Passage have witnessed sex acts, suspected drug taking, vandalism and been subjected to abhorrent verbal abuse in the narrow alley outside their home.
Brighton and Hove City Council were initially reluctant to help, said Hughie, after two years of torment experienced by the pair.
But after a relentless six-month campaign by The Argus, the city council has granted a public space prevention order which will see a lockable gate at the south entrance of Pool Passage.
Hughie said: "The residents would like to thank The Argus for their campaign and support, also councillors Tom Druitt and Alex Phillips and our MP Caroline Lucas for their help and guidance. Also the police who have been very proactive in supporting the residents with patrols and helping getting the gate approved.
“We’re very happy with the outcome,” Hughie added, on behalf of the newly-formed Residents Association of Pool Passage.
“A gate will reduce and prevent crime and help the community feel safe and less threatened. Residents are always on high alert and are frightened with what may confront them in the passage.
“Installing a gate will help to prevent the antisocial behaviour, attacks on residents, break-ins, drug dealing, peeing, pooing, vomiting, graffiti, sex acts, blood and needles on the floor, shouting, and general antisocial behaviour we experience.”
The council’s tourism, equalities, communities, and culture committee made the decision at its meeting on September 15.
A consultation of residents and businesses in the area found overwhelming support for the gate.
“There were no expressions of opposition to the proposal from residents or other consultees,” the report states.
“Resident testimony is supported by crime and incident data from Sussex Police which show substantial levels of reported crime taking place in Pool Passage, and a strong link with crime and antisocial behaviour taking place on Pool Valley, which suggests that the proposed gate location would be of help in disrupting activities and providing protection for residents and traders along Pool Passage.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES of sex act in Pool Passage
It is expected the gate will be placed at Pool Passage in the next few weeks, the city council said, though an exact date has not yet been confirmed.
The gate will be locked between 7pm and 9am each day – with responsibility for its opening and closure with residents.