My flat is under siege by scum - what can I do?

I've spent much time over the last four years photographing drug addicts, pushers and prostitutes, up-close and very personal.

I know nearly all of them in my city in northern Italy. I can go places even the police are wary to go, and I have total freedom to photograph anything. A very small selection of those photos can be seen on my website link

In the time I've spent photographing them, I've seen them chase away the police a number of times (6 armed officers ran away from them on one occasion) and also several raids by the military (the armed soldiers ran away from them too).

Many of them live rough and haven't washed for years. They smell revolting, and many have lice. They sh1t on the grass right next to where they smoke or inject, so I can't see any of the above suggestions about using smelly substances working.

They don't seem to care about surveillance cameras, not even the official police cameras, and the police here, as I imagine in many other cities and countries have just given up trying. Even during Covid they don't use masks and they don't respect the curfew or any other regulations. They are a law unto themselves.

Stabbings here are frequent, which confirms advice given earlier in this thread, don't approach them. They will also threaten to stab with used syringe needles.

Tomorrow (Monday) I'll go and ask them if there is anything that would put them off frequenting an area. If I get any useful suggestions I'll come back and post them tomorrow evening.
Some beautiful imagery on your website - Henri Cartier-Bresson would be proud of you.
 
Some beautiful imagery on your website - Henri Cartier-Bresson would be proud of you.
Thank you :)
There's a lot more on my faceache page, possibly around 300 + photos, if you're interested.
FB: PaulCrespelStreetPhotography
 

SmilingKnight

Old-Salt
UPDATE FROM POST #170

This morning I spoke to about 20 users and dealers.

As I expected they found the situation highly amusing, and were unanimous in their thoughts that whatever you do will be taken as a challenge, and they'll just get worse, calling in reinforcements if necessary.

I suggested ideas like creating smells, putting up fences or gates etc., but they just confirmed what I have seen here for years, that it will make no difference. Fences get torn down, and gates get forced open or even removed.

They see any space they occupy as their territory, and will defend it enthusiastically.

Remember, for them any interference in their activities is a welcome distraction from boredom. It gives them something to do, and they enjoy it in a rather perverse way.

For the property owners infested with this problem it's a different matter; they quite rightly take it very seriously, and eventually it wears them down, and starts to affect their quality of life and their mental health.

Unfortunately drug addicts and dealers, and the crime and prostitution that goes to fund that lifestyle, is so widespread now that even if the authorites succeed in moving them on, they only move them to another space where they remain problematic. Unless the authorities banish them all to some lonely and inaccessable island, they will just continue to kick the can down the road.

Based on this morning's conversations with addicts and dealers, and four years of documenting the problem, my advice is just move house or just learn to ignore them. You're dealing with people who don't give a flying fück about you or the Law, and who won't get stressed about any problems you cause them. They simply self-medicate, and will start to treat you as a problem to be solved, and it will become a war of attrition that you will lose, because you'll get more and more fixated and stressed, and they won't.

Hi Mate,

Grateful for your replies

I just don't think that (thankfully) I'm dealing the same class of scum as you have witnessed

They couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag, nevermind the below

In the time I've spent photographing them, I've seen them chase away the police a number of times (6 armed officers ran away from them on one occasion) and also several raids by the military (the armed soldiers ran away from them too).
 
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Hi Mate,

Grateful for your replies

I just don't think that (thanlfully) I'm dealing the same class of scum as you have witnessed

They couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag, nevermind the below
Good news!
In that case, go for it, and good luck with your clear out ;)
 
Hi Mate,

Grateful for your replies

I just don't think that (thankfully) I'm dealing the same class of scum as you have witnessed

They couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag, nevermind the below

Following on from the photography and capturing evidence aspect, does anyone have any recommendations for quality home security cameras that could be mounted inside a window as opposed to the traditional installation on the exterior of a building?
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Following on from the photography and capturing evidence aspect, does anyone have any recommendations for quality home security cameras that could be mounted inside a window as opposed to the traditional installation on the exterior of a building?
I have been using IMOU cameras for a while now, the only problem with mounting inside a window is that at night the light from the IR lamp will reflect back
they do several that are remote control from your phone or pC, I have mine set up with a memory chip that stores for 3 days before they overwrite
you can also for a fee store on the cloud
if placing inside a window, make sure you put a dark cloth behind and around to prevent light leaking through from the room

 
Let's go the other way - SuperSoaker full of perfume or liquid soap.
 

TotalBanker

Old-Salt
I personally think a lot of the “send us your images” stuff is more of a carthartic thing anyway. Most of what’s submitted would not be admissible as evidence. Majority of time people also post their images / footage on social media - which also renders it inadmissible.
Just out of interest, why is it inadmissible? Could the alleged crim claim a potential jury had been influenced? Thats the only thing i could come up with
 

BaldBaBoon

War Hero
Just out of interest, why is it inadmissible? Could the alleged crim claim a potential jury had been influenced? Thats the only thing i could come up with
Pretty much.

Essentially if you want to embarass the local council or whoever has not carried your complaint through, then posting up on social media is what normally happens. However this can have negative effects in that the offenders now know they have been recorded, its not hard in the slightest to work out where they were recorded from, it might impact on an investigation by spooking those under observation etc.

If you have good clear quality reordings that can identify a person, and I mean to the degree that you would be able to single out that individual rather than just " Male, light skinned, dark hair " of them actually offending, then that is of use if offered soley to the investigators.

Hard points to prove are the actual offending part. At 50ft on a low-vision camera, presumably of people partly obscured in foilage, no matter the quality, its a stretch to believe you could capture a drug deal in action....and how can you prove its drugs.

Far better to be helpful to the police and let them know you have a good recording if required that might show the two suspects that they picked up earlier for suspicion with intent to supply drugs and denied ever meeting each other, were actually clearly shown in the park doing a transaction on your camera

Slow time investigation sadly.
 

BaldBaBoon

War Hero
I do not doubt what you are seeing in your case.

But we deployed to several reports of a large group of men in dark clothing prowling around outside the female lodgings of the local university and taking photos of the women inside, with a couple of dark vans parked up...apparently ready to kipnap a few.

Pokemon.

Group of students hurtling about hunting for pokemon on their phones and one had brought his car to use as a sandwich and drinks resupply.

Amused but dissapointed police dog vans, 5 response units and a passing firearms team. We did get some sandwhiches though.
 
Pretty much.

Essentially if you want to embarass the local council or whoever has not carried your complaint through, then posting up on social media is what normally happens. However this can have negative effects in that the offenders now know they have been recorded, its not hard in the slightest to work out where they were recorded from, it might impact on an investigation by spooking those under observation etc.

If you have good clear quality reordings that can identify a person, and I mean to the degree that you would be able to single out that individual rather than just " Male, light skinned, dark hair " of them actually offending, then that is of use if offered soley to the investigators.

Hard points to prove are the actual offending part. At 50ft on a low-vision camera, presumably of people partly obscured in foilage, no matter the quality, its a stretch to believe you could capture a drug deal in action....and how can you prove its drugs.

Far better to be helpful to the police and let them know you have a good recording if required that might show the two suspects that they picked up earlier for suspicion with intent to supply drugs and denied ever meeting each other, were actually clearly shown in the park doing a transaction on your camera

Slow time investigation sadly.
Big issue we notice is- people are more keen to make their name on facebook as a victim and stick whatever footage they have on there first-then inform the police. Local Facebook groups being the main culprit where everyone turns into Sherlock holmes. Then someone will comment “police aren’t doing enough”...and it won’t have even been reported to police.
Neighbourhood watch groups also-not a bad thing until...someone, after having spoken to the visiting police inspector at a meeting, Inspector invariably has said at some point "of course you can contact me". Mrs COUNCILLOR Muriel Smith or whoever then thinks she's best mates with and has a hotline to the inspector-so she goes on to inform her group to report everything to her and she'll be the point of contact for the police. Results in reports being sometimes days old before they are actually seen.

I dealt with something a month or so ago-bloke had spotted something pretty serious and had he called 999 it would have got an emergency (possibly armed) response.

He posted it to Twitter - and informed police by email over 6 hours after, after someone on twitter pointed out to him it might be a good idea.
 
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Like someone suggested before, Makrel oil sprayed all down the alley.

Also, do your jobbies in a bag and drop them covertly in the alley akin to the Great Escape, have flaps on the bottom of your trousers and voila.

Having an alley that stinks of fish, standing in shit in the dark and keep calling the police they'll move.
So will the locals. Rats will move in. He could be responsible for an outbreak of plague.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
One problem I faced, working for a friend fitting out his property we noticed lots of dealing going on, some unsavoury characters, and dodgy motors coming and going, and vehicles being inspected, we cycled to work and parked inside, tools and kit delivered early doors
we photographed them all and kept records, eventually we gave the various characters nicknames, and knew exactly what time the re supply drop was likely, where it would be parked and what sort of car
sent all of this along to the Police, but heard nothing back, now bearing in mind its 3 months into a 5 month contract, I would at least have expected a visit and a chat, or a phone call

anyway one day we see two dodgy looking geezers in a tatty car, and as mni Osama jigs past they grip him and pat him down,we sus they is the five oh, this time he has nothing on him, and gives it large about just going to see a mate innit, they drive off and he waits for them to vanish, changes course, runs around the bloke and comes back to the flat where they are dealing to warn Osama.
of course the peelers pop back a little later, so I walk outside, and as they go past me in a narrow lane, drop my business card into the window and carry on walking ( lots of flats overlooking the area, and several of them have known clients living in them)

a little while later the phone rings and we give them the password for the electronic doors
they come in have a cuppa, and we explain that we have been sending the cop shop images and statements weekly, one chap is the sarge on the drug squad, he has had no info about it, and said its likely that a senior officer decided it wsa not worth bothering about and put them in his file for a power point pressy
A mate who is a retired cop said they only ever get 10 percent of intelligence directly !
upshot, he gives us a phone no that we put in the phone with a blind name ( in case the phone is nicked)
and we email him all the info
they had nicked mini osama, it seems that they had been given intel via a neighbour, but she had not spotted his cousin, 10 years younger and 5 stone smaller
so blew the chance of a good tug
Osama was spooked, as it was a case of cuckooing, and he was replaced by bad bad leroy brown, who brought a whole new Jivass style to the dealings, with a tidy stride and a much smarter dress sense
this time they arrived en masse
nabbed Leroy
and nabbed the druggie deliveroo as they turned up
we also caught some old gizzard in a wheelchair transporting drugs, turns out he could walk and run when the peelers went after him !!
 
One problem I faced, working for a friend fitting out his property we noticed lots of dealing going on, some unsavoury characters, and dodgy motors coming and going, and vehicles being inspected, we cycled to work and parked inside, tools and kit delivered early doors
we photographed them all and kept records, eventually we gave the various characters nicknames, and knew exactly what time the re supply drop was likely, where it would be parked and what sort of car
sent all of this along to the Police, but heard nothing back, now bearing in mind its 3 months into a 5 month contract, I would at least have expected a visit and a chat, or a phone call

anyway one day we see two dodgy looking geezers in a tatty car, and as mni Osama jigs past they grip him and pat him down,we sus they is the five oh, this time he has nothing on him, and gives it large about just going to see a mate innit, they drive off and he waits for them to vanish, changes course, runs around the bloke and comes back to the flat where they are dealing to warn Osama.
of course the peelers pop back a little later, so I walk outside, and as they go past me in a narrow lane, drop my business card into the window and carry on walking ( lots of flats overlooking the area, and several of them have known clients living in them)

a little while later the phone rings and we give them the password for the electronic doors
they come in have a cuppa, and we explain that we have been sending the cop shop images and statements weekly, one chap is the sarge on the drug squad, he has had no info about it, and said its likely that a senior officer decided it wsa not worth bothering about and put them in his file for a power point pressy
A mate who is a retired cop said they only ever get 10 percent of intelligence directly !
upshot, he gives us a phone no that we put in the phone with a blind name ( in case the phone is nicked)
and we email him all the info
they had nicked mini osama, it seems that they had been given intel via a neighbour, but she had not spotted his cousin, 10 years younger and 5 stone smaller
so blew the chance of a good tug
Osama was spooked, as it was a case of cuckooing, and he was replaced by bad bad leroy brown, who brought a whole new Jivass style to the dealings, with a tidy stride and a much smarter dress sense
this time they arrived en masse
nabbed Leroy
and nabbed the druggie deliveroo as they turned up
we also caught some old gizzard in a wheelchair transporting drugs, turns out he could walk and run when the peelers went after him !!
Do you say 'Slaaaaaaaagggggggg' a lot?
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Some beautiful imagery on your website - Henri Cartier-Bresson would be proud of you.
I have only just looked at them stunning utterly stunning, almost as if you can see inside a persons soul
you have the eye of Andrea Camilleri for detail, he painted with words the images he took with his eyes
 

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