Police enforce drugs closure order on Stevenage flat

PUBLISHED: 09:39 01 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:08 06 May 2010

A locksmith breaking into the flat

A locksmith breaking into the flat

MAGISTRATES granted a drugs closure order on a flat in Inskip Crescent, Stevenage on Tuesday after evidence of Class A drug abuse and anti social behaviour was presented at a court hearing. Officers from the town s community team applied to magistrates f

MAGISTRATES granted a drugs closure order on a flat in Inskip Crescent, Stevenage on Tuesday after evidence of Class A drug abuse and anti social behaviour was presented at a court hearing.

Officers from the town's community team applied to magistrates for a closure order using powers under the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003.

But when they went to the flat the two residents had fled and officers had to force their way into the property. New locks were fitted to prevent entry by the former tenants.

The closure order, the second of its kind to be granted in the town in the last two months, will remain in force for three months. During this time it is a criminal offence for anyone other than a person authorised by the police to enter the premises. The property is owned by Stevenage Borough Council whose Tenancy Enforcement Team worked alongside police to obtain evidence for the order.

Sergeant Jim Moatt from the Stevenage Community Team who presented the evidence in court. He said: "The granting of this order sends out a clear message that people who use their premises to deal class A drugs, cause anti social behaviour and seriously affect the quality of life of their neighbours will be robustly targeted. Working in partnership with the local authority we have taken a significant step towards improving the lives of the residents of Inskip Crescent.

"I would encourage anyone who feels the occupants of a house or flat near to them are dealing drugs or causing a nuisance to come forward and let us know. Any information that you give can be kept anonymous and police officers can present any evidence on your behalf."

Stevenage Borough Council's Executive Councillor for Community Safety, Bob Clark said: "The closure of this second house is a positive step towards efforts to make Stevenage safer. The Council continues to work very closely with the police and local people to ensure that Stevenage remains one of the safest places in the country to live, work and visit."

Evidence presented to the court showed numerous reports of loud music playing late into the night, urinating in the communal stairwell, used syringes laying in the communal entrance and foul and abusive language being used by people using the address as well as other evidence of Class A drug use.

Jim continued: "On a number of occasions visitors to the address in Inskip Crescent have abused local residents some of them elderly or children. It should be made clear that tenants must take responsibility for their visitors and if they allow them to use or deal drugs or act anti socially they are in danger of losing their home."

Police are looking at a number of other addresses in Stevenage and further orders will be applied for in the coming months.

Police need the public's help in keeping crack and other class A drugs out of Hertfordshire. If anyone has any information about where drug dealing is taking place or who is involved in class A drug supply or use, they are urged to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary's Crack Crime Drug Line on 01707 354695. All calls are treated in the strictest confidence and you do not have to give your name. Alternatively ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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