Coping with abusive neighbours — Scope | Disability forum
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Coping with abusive neighbours

the_velvet_girl Community member Posts: 107 Courageous
I've recently moved home and I'm having a few problems with my new next door neighbour. Whenever I go out, they stop what they are doing and stare. They have a lovely garden and sit in it most of the time. I overheard them staying 'that lady is a spastic' a few days ago and yesterday when I went out to the bin, the man was out in his garden and shouted to his partner 'the spastics out again, come and see' I was in shock so I shouted over several times and asked him to repeat what he had just said but he just ignored me and the two of them just stared. I phoned the police but they both denied it. The police have advised me to keep a journal of incidents and to let them know if there are any more comments. When I went to work today, they just stood and stared at me walking past and one of them muttered a comment but I couldn't make it out. I haven't been called these names since my school days.
Does anyone know if staring on it's own is classed as a hate crime? Can anyone suggest a way of getting evidence of this? I'm scared to take pictures on my phone in case they become abusive. How do other people cope with staring as I'm finding this very difficult to cope with? 


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 10,467 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry to hear that @the_velvet_girl there are some wicked people in this world, my first thought do you live in social housing (council or housing association) if so then you could involve them.
    The police advice is sound keeping a journal might be useful, would your phone record what is being said without them knowing?
    Sorry I don't have any more ideas.
    Seasons greetings to one and all 🎄🎅🏻🌲
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Community member Posts: 3,127 Connected
    It’s a good idea to do as the police say and keep a log, record date, time, who you are referring to and what was said or done, also record if there is anyone else that witnesses the event like a neighbour or a family member or friend. 

    I live in social housing and I know my housing association have a harassment policy which I can view on their website. If you live in social housing check the website or speak to them direct and ask for it. 

    Alongside this I would also be informing the housing officer anyway to let them know the situation. 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,465 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @the_velvet_girl - I'm so sorry about what you've experienced, but, if I may, I would perhaps take the opportunity to educate. Try to engage them in conversation saying, 'If you're wondering, I actually have Cerebral Palsy, & the term 'spastic' is both outdated, & has been considered offensive for some time, so please don't use it.' Hopefully they'll move forwards, after apologising. In the disabled community there's great understanding, but not enough with those that don't have a disability; tell them 'I'm just the same as you, but have difficulty walking, that's all.' So, perhaps give them a chance......but only one! After all, I'm sure you'd rather get on with them than not, even if it was just a case of saying,' Good morning,' yet they then refrained from making further offensive comments.
    I do know what you mean about staring..... I live in a wonderful community, but my new(ish) next door neighbour but one sits out on her decking directly facing my lounge window for hours, even until late at night, sitting out in the dark (she has also alienated my other neighbours as well as myself with noise issues; put a threatening letter through a neighbours door, & so much more). My only recourse is to close my blinds early, & before I put the on light on. I live in a Park home, & the owner agreed to come to a meeting for those of us affected by her......his advice, to contact the police.
    I hope you can move forwards with this, otherwise the advice given above should be helpful.

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  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,559 Scope online community team
    Hi @the_velvet_girl
    This is absolutely appalling and I'm so angry for you!
    Using derogatory terms like that is a hate crime and should be treated as such. You need to keep a diary of incidences and if you can have your phone recording when you are out at the bins, so you can record the interactions.
    If you are afraid for your personal safety call 999 immediately.
    Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead

    'Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to tell us about your experience in the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • the_velvet_girl
    the_velvet_girl Community member Posts: 107 Courageous
    Thanks for the advice. I contacted the housing officer for my local authority who put me in touch with the ASBO team. Unfortunately, they can't do much to help. They offered to put an extra lock on my door but I don't feel my neighbours would actually harm me physically. They also discussed installing CCTV if the incidents keep happening but did say that the cameras they would install might not pick up what is actually being said. My neighbours haven't been out in the garden as much due to the rain so long may it continue! I feel a bit apprehensive about approaching my neighbours to educate them after they ignored me when I asked them to repeat the comments. I'd be extremely annoyed and upset if they denied it again if I went to their door. 
  • Emilyb81
    Emilyb81 Community member Posts: 530 Pioneering
    edited July 2021
    Flipping ridiculous its the same everywhere! No or very little support or help until something worse happens! ☹️ Feel so bad for you @the_velvet_girl because moving into a new place should be a happy, exciting time but its being ruined by some small minded n** jockeys (sorry) and as usual you the victim or person being affected (i dont like the word victim so much!)  have to try repeatedly to get some help and basically get told they havent gone far enough yet!
    Same with a lot of mental health and physical health support services they only get involved when its got too far ☹️ not the same thing but just remembered years ago we had to call mental health people about my brother who was suicidal and threatening people with knives etc and they said unless he actually hurts himself or someone else they cant do much??? Unreal! And they wonder why theres people going around hurting people for no reason? Very sad state of affairs ☹️
    Anyway i am sorry for going off topic and again for what these eejits are doing to you and probably others too! Honestly it amazes me how some people behave and they actually think its acceptable?? Who raises them like that? ☹️?
  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,559 Scope online community team
    @the_velvet_girl we can support you let me know. @Emilyb81 is absolutely right it should be an exciting time for you. 
    Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead

    'Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to tell us about your experience in the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 


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