Months of complaints about antisocial behaviour and suspected drug dealing at Hitchin town centre flat - now it’s locked and barred to give neighbours a break
- Credit: Archant
Police have successfully applied to magistrates for permission to lock the doors on a Hitchin town centre flat at the centre of a string of complaints of antisocial behaviour and suspected drug dealing.
A three-month closure order relating to the flat in Bridge Court in Bridge Street was granted at a hearing in Stevenage on Monday.
The ruling was confirmed under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 after a police investigation following complaints from neighbours.
Police worked in partnership with landlord Circle Housing to gather evidence after both received a string of complaints reporting arguments at the address, noisy visitors, suspected drug dealing and the exchange of suspected stolen property.
The order prevents anyone from entering the property for three months and anyone who breaches the order can be arrested.
Sgt Stephen Oliphant of Hitchin’s safer neighbourhood team said: “Alongside our partner agencies, we have been responding to complaints about the behaviour of the resident and visitors to the address for many months.
“By taking this action to close the property, we hope to provide neighbours and the wider community with some respite.
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“This is great example of how the new act has given us greater powers so that we can take action against anti-social behaviour, which can become a blight and cause such misery for neighbours, and improve the quality of life for our local communities.”
In order to grant the order, magistrates had to be satisfied that there was a risk of disorderly, offensive or criminal behavior on the premises, that the use of the premises was linked to serious nuisance to members of the public or that there was a potential issue of disorder nearby.