I’m living in hell as the yobs terrorize the playground near my house

A mum-of-two whose home overlooks a public playground says lawless teenagers are making her family’s life hell.

Loud thugs have been peeking over Leah Flack’s fence, urinating on swings and leaving broken bottles and laughing gas canisters strewn across the floor for the past six years.


Mother-of-two Leah Flack says thugs are terrorizing her familyCredit: Andrew Styczynski
Leah with husband Michael and daughters Esme and Ayla


Leah with husband Michael and daughters Esme and AylaCredit: Andrew Styczynski

The 40-year-old also had to endure gangs setting fire to the climbing wall and late-night parties at what she describes as “a theme park for drunks”.

And the constant screaming, foul language and booming music made the family consider packing up and moving.

Leah, who lives with Michael and their daughters Esme, six, and Ayla, two, said: “The antisocial behavior at night is shocking.

“We have completely lost our privacy and we have teenagers who continually look over our back fence.

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“We’ve spent six years keeping noise diaries and trying to engage with the local council and community police, but they don’t recognize the problem.

“They just told us it was our fault we moved next to a park. One of them even basically told me to ‘move on’. How do they think that it is acceptable ?

“Interestingly, they’ve just invested £7m in the park through third parties, so I think they’re trying to ignore that or keep tabs on any complaints.

“It seems the investment has taken precedence over any concerns for local residents.”

The problems started in the summer of 2016 when groups of youngsters started congregating near play equipment – and Leah has been keeping a diary of the incidents ever since.

She has pages and pages of reports of disturbances, including broken glass, loudspeakers blaring until the early hours and a moped whizzing around the roundabout.

Despite repeated complaints to council and the police, Leah says almost nothing has been done – just the planting of a handful of trees to act as a “screen”.

Technology program manager Leah, from Brentwood, Essex, now fears for the summer when the situation will only get worse.

More and more teenagers gather at King George’s playgrounds when it’s hot, and last summer the family couldn’t even open their windows due to the constant din.

“We have young children and some of the talking and shouting and screaming as young adults play on the equipment after dark is really shocking,” Leah said.

“On some occasions, my daughter’s room reached 30°C and we couldn’t open the windows.

“It has definitely led to anxiety in our family every night not knowing whether or not we will be kept awake or awake.

“If we didn’t have children this young, we could wear earplugs at night, but we still have to listen to them at this age.”

Some of the tongue-in-cheek, shouting and shouting as young adults play on the equipment after dark is truly shocking.

Lea Flack

Leah said the council held a consultation for residents to have their views heard before the updated playground was installed.

But when they requested the proposal from the authority, it would never have been sent.

And when they finally got their hands on it, it showed nothing of the play equipment that overlooks Leah’s property.

“We weren’t consulted. We didn’t have any input,” Leah said.

“When the council finally responded to our concerns, they said they had planted trees for screening, but that won’t stop the noise and it won’t deter behavior after dark.

“All the last six years of pain have been completely ignored and they have gone ahead and put the worst equipment behind our back fence.

“In a nutshell, they ignored all our complaints, police reports and noise logs and built a theme park for drunks and anti-social behavior.”


Leah added that the police were more engaging than the council but couldn’t do much due to limited resources.

Essex Police have confirmed they have received reports of anti-social behavior in the area.

A spokesman for the force added: “Anti-social behavior is a priority for Essex Police and we are aware of reports from ASB regarding King George Playgrounds in Brentwood.

“We are carrying out joint patrols and will work with the council to resolve any issues.”

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A Brentwood Borough Council spokesperson said: “Our Community Safety Team are working with Essex Police to patrol the park and CCTV is being put in place as part of the redevelopment.

“We are currently arranging a meeting with the resident to discuss his concerns.”

The problems started in July 2016 and Leah says the council did little to help


The problems started in July 2016 and Leah says the council did little to helpCredit: Andrew Styczynski
Broken glass strewn on the floor in the playground


Broken glass strewn on the floor in the playgroundCredit: provided
Leah and her daughter watch the playground where gangs of yobs gather


Leah and her daughter watch the playground where gangs of yobs gatherCredit: Andrew Styczynski
The children's playground that overlooks Leah's house


The children’s playground that overlooks Leah’s houseCredit: Andrew Styczynski
The view of the family garden fence in Brentwood, Essex


The view of the family garden fence in Brentwood, EssexCredit: Andrew Styczynski

Harold B. McConnell