Code enforcement reacts after residents complain of crime, condemned homes in neighborhood

Posted at 6:06 PM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 12:12:03-04

Speedway Park resident Pam Niles can't hide her anger and sadness.

"They'll have to kill me or take me on a stretcher before I give up my home," said Niles. "It's not fair that my kids cannot ride their bikes. Our kids cannot play. All the kids feel like they're the ones that are the prisoner."

She and her neighbors are frustrated with rampant crime. 

"They are wanting to run us out of this neighborhood and it's not going to happen," said Niles.

Using a Hillsborough County database we found deputies responded to the area 225 times in just the past six months. Deputies couldn't tell us if that was a high number. But 81-year-old Helen Richards says the numbers speak for itself.

"It was never like this before but it's gotten really bad," said Richards.

The neighbors said the problem is mostly drugs ruining their neighborhood. They said they are seeing more condemned homes, filled with garbage in the yards.

They've done all they could from calling deputies, code enforcement and even putting in their own surveillance. They've become so frustrated they called ABC Action News.

"I am tickled to pieces that you are here because we have been complaining arguing with everybody every place to please do something," said Richards.

"Help us! Help us the taxpayers," said Niles. 

Deputies said they are aware of the issues and are patrolling and are also more than willing to meet with residents.

Ron Spiller, Director of Hillsborough County Code Enforcement checked out the area personally after our call. He said within 24 hours a crew will clean up garbage. 

Spiller also said they will immediately look into tearing down some of the condemned homes .

For the crew it's a major first step in taking back their neighborhood

"We want to be proud we won't be able to walk our streets to walk without worrying if we are going to get mugged or not." said Richards.