Neighbour’s ‘nightmare’ living next to home in Norwich where council paid underfire company to supervise vulnerable teenagers
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Late night parties, police sirens and one teenager sleeping on his couch after being kicked out.
These are some of the things neighbour Glen Leverett alleges happened while teenagers, who were meant to be supervised by a company paid for by Norfolk County Council, were living next to him on the Larkman estate in Norwich.
Concerns about the state of accommodation and services being provided by the company, called Sixteen Plus, for young people leaving the care of the council, were first raised at the start of March in this newspaper.
It has lead to an investigation by Norfolk's children's services department who yesterday suspended all new placements with Sixteen Plus.
The council is also carrying out more checks on the homes where the company places care leavers.
Mr Leverett said he had complained to Sixteen Plus staff about noise and parties on several occasions.
'The kids are meant to be getting support,' he said. 'If no one is there, they are going to do what they want.'
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He claimed over the last year there seemed to be fewer staff supervising the teenagers at the home, which is no longer being used by the company.
One night he said he phoned the police about the noise and said he had seen police cars outside on several occasions.
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The 42-year-old father claimed workers told him they were being split across several homes when they were meant to spend all their time in one house. This claim has been supported by a former worker at Sixteen Plus.
'When they were here it was a living nightmare,' Mr Leverett said.
On one occasion he claimed he took one of the teenagers into his own house for the weekend because they had turned 18, meaning they were no longer eligible for the accommodation, but had nowhere else to go.
UKIP councillor Jonathon Childs, who first raised concerns with the council in February, said it was 'a shocking state of affairs'.
A spokesperson for the council said: 'We will not be making further new placements with Sixteen Plus until the independent complaints investigation has been completed into concerns about a small number of cases.'
Suffolk County Council also uses Sixteen Plus and said they were happy with the service.
Cambridgeshire County Council, meanwhile, has suspended new placements with the company.
Sixteen Plus has been contacted for comment.
•Read more from our Fighting For Their Futures campaign here