Furious woman spent ‘£3,000’ to stop local kids from ‘harassing’ her
A woman has told of how she spent £3,000 on CCTV and a new door after unruly youths “wouldn’t stop harassing her”.
Alicia Vernon had only been in her property for a week when the trouble started. She claims schoolchildren in the area ended up giving the 57-year-old “no end of grief”, including knock-knock run, kicking her door, and even opening it when it was unlocked before sprinting off down the street.
Speaking to Derbyshire Live, Mrs Vernon said she felt she had no choice but to replace her door with a heavier one and to install cameras because police could not do anything without evidence.
She said: “It’s cost me dearly. It’s taken a big chunk of my retirement money. I have ME (Myalgic encephalomyelitis), which means I only have a certain amount of energy. Well all of my energy has had to go on dealing with this. It’s been hellish.”
Mrs Vernon and her husband Paul Stone, 63, moved into the property in May 2021. Mrs Vernon, a former teacher, had previously lived in Alvaston by herself, but due to medical issues could not teach for more than a few hours and as a result had to rely on multiple businesses for income.
When the pandemic hit, these businesses faltered and she found herself unable to maintain the mortgage on her own. Forced to sell up, she moved to Stockbrook after glowing reviews of how the area once was from friends and family. But the reality hit home just days after the couple had moved in. A huge crash on their front door, which at the time, was made of the standard, “relatively cheap” and lightweight PVC that is used on many front doors up and down the county, startled them.
“I thought: what’s that?! My heart just went in my mouth,” said Mrs Vernon. “I thought we were being attacked. I looked out and there was a lad disappearing off down the road. Then it happened again. Paul went off after him waving his fist. It happened several times.”
Flykicking continued until one instance left a boot mark on the door and a hairline fracture in the plastic. The pair contacted the police with some video footage Paul had caught of the culprits on his mobile phone, but it wasn’t clear enough for identification.
They asked the local pub for CCTV footage, but it was too long-winded a process to be successful. Then they got in touch with the headteacher at Bemrose School, in Uttoxeter New Road, who made it clear in assemblies that such behaviour was unacceptable.
But fearing the problems would continue, Mrs Vernon paid £2,400 to have a new, heavier door fitted and £520 to have CCTV cameras professionally installed at the front and back of her property so that they abided by regulations.
Mrs Vernon, whose illness led her to retire early, spent a hefty chunk of her retirement fund on the work.
She said: “I only get a small amount per month. All of my other money has gone to try and provide security and sort out the terrible situation which has been happening around me. So it’s not been brilliant from that aspect.
“All the neighbours around me that have been here a long time say that this was a lovely area. It’s gone downhill. I think it’s shocking now. Really bad.”
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