ELDERLY residents have been left scared to leave their homes, after drug dealers and users take over their block of flats.

Home owners at Oasis Court, Kenway, Southend, say they have witnessed countless drug deals taking place and gangs of people regularly smoking cannabis in the communal areas.

Some residents said they have tried to confront the people using and bringing in the drugs and told how they become very aggressive.

They claim Swan Housing Association, which owns the flats, is refusing to act.

Maureen Dixon, 80, said: “It’s getting quite bad now, in the last few weeks I’ve seen men and women walking into the main entrance and so blatantly carrying and displaying huge bags of cannabis.

“There was one occasion when I saw a man and stared at him and he smiled at me as if to say there’s nothing anyone can do.

“I’m becoming scared about going out of my flat, especially at night, due to people hanging around and smoking cannabis.

“I find it so intimidating, it’s just awful and so scary at night.

“I think it’s disgusting, we are all paying our rates and rent and we shouldn’t have to be putting up with this.”

Stuart O’Hara, 50, added: “We’ve also got the smell of cannabis coming through the walls of our home.

“The strong smell is coming from one of the nearby flats and we can smell it in our homes, it’s so horrible.

“I have my young grandchildren who come to stay with us and I am very concerned as they should not have to experience these sort of things.

“I’ve spoke to a man who was carrying a bags of cannabis and he became aggressive and swore at me.

“We need something to be done about this now and I feel the association is letting us down.”

Resident Liam O’Callaghan, 35, said he knows older and more vulnerable people are scared of the drug users and dealers.

He said: “I know some older people are worried about leaving their homes.

“We can’t have these aggressive drug users taking over our block of flats, we deserve better.”

A spokesman for Swan said: "The safety and security of our residents is paramount and our dedicated ASB team are aware of residents’ concerns regarding Oasis Court and have visited on a number of occasions to investigate the situation.

"We have informed the local police of the residents’ concerns and will work with them to support any investigation they undertake.

"We will also work with the managing agent responsible for the block to identify any areas of concern.

"Any residents who remain concerned should contact our specialist ASB team, who will be able to support them to both gather evidence and share this with the relevant partner agencies.

"The ASB Team can be contacted on 0300 303 2500. We understand that these situations can be worrying for residents and our ASB officers are specially trained to help residents with the concerns they may have."