Rats run riot in Romford

RATS have been clocked roaming around rubbish bags causing concern for residents in a neighbouring housing block.

The rodents were captured on camera lurking around black refuse bags in bins by Rubicon Court, in North Street, Romford.

A resident, who said he was “driven out of the block by rats”, said the rodents had caused problems there for the past two years.

The man who would not be named said: “Environmental Health is failing to deal with the issue.”

He said the problem stemmed from demolition work next to Rubicon Court which had caused damage to the building and created holes in the wall in 2008 when the issue was first brought to the council’s attention.

The ex-resident said he continued to register complaints in 2008 and 2009 and was first told planter boxes - thought to be where the rats were living - had been removed and then last summer said he received a letter stating the council had a “high volume of cases” and would be in touch when they were in a position to investigate.

But Havering Council said this was untrue and that measures had been taken to eradicate the problem.

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As well as removing the planter boxes the council tarmaced the area, inspected the demolished site adjacent to Rubicon Court, liaised with shop owners and the managing agent for Rubicon Court who put out bait boxes and made return visits to the site to monitor the situation.

But following a visit to the site last week the ex-resident said: “I was absolutely furious to notice the hole was still in the side of Rubicon Court. That was when I noticed loads of rats - sorry not loads hundreds - running around the building site and in the bins.”

Cllr Michael White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “Following a recent complaint from a former resident we wrote to all occupants this month asking them if the problem had returned. None said it had, however we are investigating reports of rats outside the building attracted to rubbish bags that have been dumped in the wrong place. We will be serving a legal notice to the freeholder about blocking the holes and solving the rubbish problem.”

A spokesman for Havering Council added there was no evidence to indicate the rats were using the holes in the building.