Sheffield dad says rough sleepers smoking crack have taken over staircase in block of flats

A Sheffield father says drug-smoking rough sleepers have taken over the staircase of his flats because the council won’t fix one broken door.

Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 6:21 pm

Mohammed Saleh says it has been a year since the communal door to his home on Andover Road, Burngreave, stopped closing.

Since then, he says he, his family and his neighbours are having to deal with drug paraphernalia, vomit, spit and anti-social behaviour on the staircase every week.

The 35-year-old father-of-one says he recently had to carry his six-month-old baby up the stairs at 11pm as two men sat “smoking crack” on his landing.

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The flat's block's door broke at the beginning of 2021 and no longer locks. Mohammed says he has sent hundreds of messages to the council about the door and other issues, but has had no results.

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Mohammed said: “The smell is horrible and it comes into the flat – it smells like something is burning, like plastic. They smoke it off bits of foil.

“I had to carry my baby through these smoke clouds.

“I told them ‘please do not do that here’ – one of the men got very aggressive. He said ‘drop your baby off and come back, see what happens’.

The flat block on Andover Road.

“I can hear them at night on the stairs talking, spitting and smoking cannabis and crack.

“To be honest, we’re on the verge of mental illness. I’m so stressed.”

Mohammed, a safeguarding professional at a school, says the door broke in January last year and has not shut properly since.

In late 2021, he says rough sleepers began using the staircase at night, and he is now familiar with around eight repeat visitors.

Mohammed Saleh says the staircase in his flat block has been taken over by rough sleepers who smoke drugs on the landings at night because the council will not fix a communal door.

He says the stairs are regularly littered with cigarettes, burnt wraps of foil, cans and vomit, while the smell of drugs comes into his flat regularly.

Now, Mohammed is calling on the council to get on with the “simple job” of fixing the door.

The Star has seen how over the last 18 months, Mohammed has sent hundreds of emails and messages and placed dozens of phone calls to Sheffield City Council over the issue, including to his housing officers, the council’s complaints department, his neighbourhood officer and local councillors – to no avail.

Nathan Rodgers, interim director of repairs and maintenance at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are sorry for the delays to repair work at Mr. Saleh’s property. We’re now making urgent contact with him to carry them out and our customer services team will make sure that he is satisfied with the work we do.”

The 26-year-old father took these pictures of his flat block's staircase in Andover Way. They show foil used to smoke drugs, vomit, spit and cigarette ends.