ANTISOCIAL behaviour and drugs problems have become so bad in a block of flats that a family wants to move away 'as quickly as possible.'

UPDATE: Readers discuss problems on estate

Ian Wassell has said his family no longer feel safe in their own home in Blackbird Leys due to almost continuous issues right outside their front door.

The 30-year-old has described gang fights, drug taking, drug dealing and abuse close to the Oxford City Council flats in Field Avenue.

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He said: "There has been continual issues. It has reached the point where unless we get out of there it is going to keep escalating until somebody gets hurt.

"We would prefer to be out of the Leys entirely – we don't feel safe there anymore.

Oxford Mail:

"If we could get somewhere in Wood Farm or Headington we would have the chance of living a normal life without all this stress.

"We cannot take much more."

Mr Wassell has lived in the flat for 10 years with his partner and their four children, aged 12, 4, 2 and 5 months, and says that aside from the crime problems, he also feels it is over-crowded and suffers from mould.

He says that in 2013 a loaded shotgun was found dumped in the garden and said he has also seen stabbings outside.

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The problems are taking their toll on his and his partner's mental health and are making the children feel scared, according to Mr Wassell.

Whenever he has tried to confront the people involved he said he has been abused in the street and had eggs thrown at him.

He says he is one of the few people prepared to report issues to the council and the police and wants a camera put up in the entranceway.

Oxford Mail:

But he has been told more evidence needs to be collected and more neighbours need to come forward before either body will act.

The complaints come after a number of incidents of antisocial behaviour on the estate.

Police say the problem is decreasing and an investigation concluded that the door to a block of flats was actually smashed by the wind, not vandals.

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But officers have had to respond to problems of large gangs of teens hanging around and criminal damage.

A man in his 30s was stabbed in Blackbird Leys park in September.

Three men are awaiting sentencing after admitting the attack in Oxford Crown Court earlier this week.

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John Dillon, the chair of Blackbird Leys Parish Council, said had sympathy for those affected but didn't feel the problems were any worse on the estate than anywhere else in the city.

He said: "I don't think the drug dealing is as blatant as it used to be.

"I'm not saying it's not happening but it is not so much in the open.

Oxford Mail:

File photo of John Dillon, right, with other members of Blackbird Leys Parish Council.

"I think that is due to the work of the police in the area.

"Of course we would like to see more resources and more police walking around – they are spread thinly.

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"But that is the reality and they do a good job with what they have."

Bill Graves, landlord services manager at Oxford City Council, said: “While we empathise with people facing difficulties with antisocial behaviour in their neighbourhood, we can’t comment on individual cases.

"In cases where the police advise us it is necessary to move someone somewhere safer, we will do so."