Dealers to face eviction

RESIDENTS using East Renfrewshire council’s housing service have been warned — if you deal drugs, you will lose your home.

The authority issued the message last week after evicting a Barrhead tenant for the offence.

A woman (40) appeared at Paisley sheriff court, where she was found guilty of supplying controlled drugs — cannabis and dihydrocodeine — from her home on Crossmill Avenue.

An ERC spokesman told The Extra: “The message should be clear that if you’re convicted of dealing drugs from one of our properties, you won’t be a tenant any longer.

“We have a zero tolerance approach to tenants dealing drugs from our properties and will not permit tenants to behave in an anti-social way.

“The vast majority of housing tenants are good, law-abiding people and should have to put up with a drug dealer using a council home for illegal activity.

“Our housing service will continue to work closely with police to ensure drug dealers are removed from decent neighbourhoods”.

The rule is part of a crackdown on council properties issued in October, when the ERC cabinet introduced tougher measures in a bid to reduce tenancy arrears and prevent financial losses.

According to the new guidelines, tenants who refused to “engage with the council” would face stricter enforcement, and could end up in court.

The council spokesman added that a tenant found to be dealing drugs from a housing service property is in breach of the contract and would be dealt with accordingly.

Anyone concerned by anti-social behaviour can report it through a free and confidential helpline — 0800 0130 076 — or by contacting the housing service or police directly.

Meanwhile, the council has also issued a warning to residents about an online scam which grants fraudsters access to personal information.

Trading standards officers have received reports of an e-mail, claiming to be from the online banking team at Santander.

The e-mail states that the recipient’s online access has been suspended due to a security error, and asks the person to click on a link to re-activate it.

Steve Fox, ERC’s principal trading standards officer, explained: “This is a scam. All the banks websites state that they will never contact you by email.

“If you contact the link it will add a virus to your computer.

“It willalso add a cookie to your e-mail that will track and trace all e-mails and so gain insight into your friends, and they will get a similar e-mail.

“It will raid your hard drive for information, which will be used and abused”.

The East Renfrewshire trading standards team can be reached on 577 3782 for more advice.