Is violence, swearing and criminal damage ruining Cleethorpes' reputation?
GUESTHOUSE owners in Cleethorpes say late-night violence, swearing and criminal damage is terrifying their guests and turning their lives into a "nightmare".
Since a number of former guesthouses along Isaac's Hill and Clee Road were sold to private landlords and converted into "houses of multiple occupancy", problems have been escalating.
Now guesthouse owners and residents say their lives are being tormented by these occupants, many of whom have criminal records and were previously homeless.
They list a catalogue of incidents, including:
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Fights outside their properties, often involving weapons.
People screaming in the streets in the early hours.
Car windows being smashed and paint work being scratched.
Missiles – such as stones and fire extinguishers – being thrown at other properties.
Ray Wilson, who has owned the four-star Aristocrat for four years, said: "Ourselves and neighbouring guesthouses have worked hard to achieve our ratings and we are trying our best to promote Cleethorpes.
"But it's difficult to encourage people to come here when our lives our being made a nightmare and we know our guests' cars are in danger.
"Guests who are coming back here at night feel threatened because these people are out in the street fighting, swearing and being aggressive.
"Isaac's Hill is meant to be the gateway to Cleethorpes, but many of these houses of multiple occupancy look disgusting and the occupants are bringing the area down."
Another guesthouse owner, who did not want to be named for fear of the repercussions, added: "If I could move away tomorrow, I would.
"It's got to the stage where I'm scared what my guests will be thinking, when they can hear the screaming and fighting outside.
"Most of them are too frightened to go outside in the street because these people are hanging around.
"It's going to ruin the reputation of Cleethorpes.
"What we really need is a CCTV camera on the island at the bottom of Isaac's Hill which can point in all four directions and catch what these people are doing."
A father-of-three, who lives in Clee Road, added: "It's got to the point where they are fighting so much we could end up with a riot on our hands. Sometimes there are 15 people out there.
"Thankfully, my children sleep at the back, but they have been woken up by it before and it scared them.
"It used to be manageable when it was just people from the pubs and clubs dropping litter and being rowdy, but now it's out of hand."
However, Mark Anglin, who owns one of the houses of multiple occupancy, says landlords cannot be blamed for the actions of their tenants.
"The perception is that landlords aren't bothered about who they have in their properties, but that isn't true," he added.
"We want tenants who look after the properties and pay their rent. And it's usually the ones who don't pay who cause trouble.
"We monitor our residents, but it's very difficult to get rid of them. Often they've got criminal convictions and if we kick them out we will be prosecuted.
"I've had incidents at my properties where police have been called, but they won't tell me what has happened because of data protection.
"It can take three months and £400 to get somebody kicked out.
"The trouble is, there are too many rules and regulations in favour of people who cause trouble and not enough to look after hard-working members of society like landlords."
An action plan has now been drawn up between council bosses and Humberside Police.
Deputy leader of NELC, Councillor Mick Burnett said: "Any impact on Cleethorpes businesses can have an impact on tourism, and the wellbeing of our residents is obviously a great concern to us. I want our businesses to be successful and, if they have problems, it is down to us to help them by working with them, the residents and the landlords of these properties."