Worst Nightmare Neighbours- The People Newspaper- News Investigation- ***November 2011***

This story revealed one of the UK's most troublesome families.

We were contacted by someone who wanted to expose what had been going on.

We contacted The People newspaper who launched an investigation and ran the story across two pages.

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THE worst scumbag family in Britain is today exposed by The People. During a decade of offending, the Dewitt clan have racked up a staggering 1,500 police call-outs, dozens of criminal convictions and a cost to YOU the taxpayer of at least £2million. The colossal sum includes police time, court costs, legal aid, prison stays, social workers, benefits, housing and at least one costly eviction after locals were left cowering in fear. The six-strong brood – a real-life version of the fictional Gallagher family in Channel 4 series Shameless – have been causing misery from two side-by-side terrace houses. Our investigation uncovered a shocking crime spree by the dreaded Dewitts including stealing a bus and driving it while drunk, beating up a pub landlady, threatening to firebomb a social worker and a string of robberies. Destroy Neighbours have been left fuming and frightened by their day-to-day ­behaviour, with one woman alone reporting THIRTY crimes against the family in just three years in Leigh, Lancs – just half an hour's drive from where Shameless is filmed. They were evicted from a nearby estate eight years ago but have done nothing to change their ways. One brave local told The People: "They are destroying lives. They have no respect for anything or anybody, or even each other." Last night local MP Andy Burnham, who is organising a meeting between victims of the Dewitts and the Victims Commissioner in London next month, said: "It can't be allowed to go unchallenged." Hangout: The family's two houses As well as some of the dodgy family having multiple dates of birth, they also use at least SIX interchangeable surnames including Dewitt, Dewett, Dewet, Dewit, Pasquill, and Taylor. The family is headed by mum DEBRA, 52, who along with her children was evicted from a previous address in the same town eight years ago after inflicting misery on neighbours. She and her children were kicked out after what the local authority called a campaign of "intimidation, harassment and threats to the wider community". Her daughter BEVERLEY, 31, got a six-month suspended prison sentence for attacking a pub landlady. Prosecutors said: "The landlady was the victim of a violent attack which resulted in her being punched and stamped on, leaving bruises and a ­broken finger, which only stopped after other people intervened." Beverley also threatened to firebomb social workers after her daughter was taken into care. Beverley's sister ZOE, 29, got a two-year rehabilitation order for her part in a garage robbery when she was said to have been hooked on booze and valium. Court records show she was pregnant at the time of the raid. Another of the family nicked a single-decker bus while boozed-up and ­went on a rampage in which 12 cars were wrecked and several bystanders narrowly escaped being killed. He got 20 months' prison. He has also been made subject to a drug treatment order and curfew after admitting burglary. We cannot name him because he was charged over two fresh offences on Friday as our probe was underway. He will appear before magistrates next month. The lad's brother LEYTON, 18, got an official warning for harassment two years ago after damaging a car. Another brother DALE, 22, has a crime sheet including multiple breaches of a restraining order and drug possession. Dale: Drugs Dale, who posed on Facebook wielding a sword, also runs a group on the site called "wigan police need fking up who agrees". He sneers on the website: "Wigan police are scumbags and they dont half think they r something." Brother DAMIAN, 24, was in court as recently as August when he was fined after attacking police and being caught with a home-made knife when he was taken into Wigan police station. His record spans at least six years – he was in court in 2005 for assault and threatening behaviour, aged just 18. Police have been called out an average of four times a week to deal with complaints about the family since at least 2003, when they were evicted from a different estate in Leigh. The total number of police call-outs linked to members of the clan is now said to top 1,500. Officials for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service said their crimes are too numerous for a definitive list. A Greater Manchester Police source said: "There has been a constant stream of offending, much of which is sustained anti-social behaviour which completely blights communities. They constantly drain the resources of the police." The source added: "There always seems to be trouble around them. Their neighbours must have a terrible time. "It can't be very pleasant for them. I feel genuinely sorry for them." Neighbours say the Dewitts have no regular jobs and police patrol cars are called to the houses as frequently as every other day. Fear During our week-long investigation, The People spotted them buying booze before 10.30am, shouting at each other in the street and loitering on corners. The only family members officially listed at the two houses are Debra at 178 and Zoe at 176. But we saw the entire clan coming and going from the two properties. Neighbours reluctantly told us about them, begging us not to name them for fear of reprisals. One drinker in the local pub The Hilton Park said: "Everyone round here tries to stay out of their way. "You want to be careful asking questions round here because if it gets back to them you'll be in trouble." Another neighbour said: "They've been a problem round here for years. "It tends to quieten down a bit when some of them get locked up but once they're out it soon starts up again. "There are people coming and going at all hours. They bang on the door, shouting and swearing. "They always seem to have money. I don't know where it comes from." We saw various members making regular trips to nearby Bargain Booze for beer and cigarettes. A constant stream of people called at different hours, peering through the letterbox or windows and calling for different members of the family. On Thursday we saw Debra go shopping and return with bags of ready meals. And on Friday night we saw a hoodie-clad Dewitt dressed in black slip out of the house on a bike with no lights and disappear into the estate. When approached by The People, Debra initially insisted she knew ­nothing about any antisocial behaviour or visits by police. Trouble She also denied her adult children lived at either of the two properties other than daughter Zoe. She later said: "My kids did get in trouble when they were young but not any more. The only time police come is when I call them because I'm having trouble with my daughter. "There's never any antisocial behaviour at my house but I don't know what happens outside in the street – that's got nothing to do with me." Son Damian tried to play down his recent fine for attacking police. He told The People: "It wasn't a knife, it was a piece of metal. I was using it to write my name on a cell wall." Referring to the family, Wigan Council neighbourhood chief Sally Wolstencroft said: "Court proceedings and a number of anti-social behaviour orders were issued in 2009." Inspector Ian Kennedy, of the Leigh Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Tackling those involved in anti-social behaviour, whether individuals, families or larger groups, is a top-priority for the neighbourhood team."

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