Stevenage neighbour on house closure – ‘I bought Rottweilers to protect me’

Magistrates handed down a three-month closure order on the house in Newcastle Close, Stevenage.

Magistrates handed down a three-month closure order on the house in Newcastle Close, Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

People living in a street plagued by anti-social behaviour and drug taking for more than 15 years hope that the closure of the offending house will end their misery for good.

Magistrates ordered that the house in Newcastle Close, Stevenage, should remain locked and empty for three months after police raided it last month – for the fourth time this year.

One woman who lives nearby said: “All the time there were people here.

“You could be putting your rubbish out at 6pm and there would be someone on their doorstep. They never stayed more than 10 minutes.

“You had the regulars and then the occasional ones you wouldn’t see again. There were motorbikes, cars and people on bicycles constantly coming and going.”

Herts police and housing association landlords Home Group applied for the order following the fourth raid, complaints from people living in the street about the noise, large numbers of people coming to the house, and reports of thefts.

Once it was approved by Stevenage Magistrates’ Court it became a criminal offence for anyone to to enter or use the property for a three month period.

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The house has been a headache for neighbours for at least the last 15 years.

One neighbour recalled that the house was also locked up in 2012, only for the tenants to return to the house a short time later, adding: “I hope that now they’re evicted and are replaced by working class people like the rest of us.

“There isn’t one person in this street who doesn’t work. We are all sick of having to work hard and watching people like that get something for nothing, while we constantly have to lock up our own property.”

The woman said that she bought two Rottweilers because she was so scared, and locked her car whenever she took her shopping in because she feared it would be stolen otherwise.

She added: “The dogs would wake up and start barking because there were people constantly in and out of the house. I didn’t sleep properly for years.

“We were always on edge. People would come and stare through your windows so you’d have to shut the curtains and lock the windows.

“It was horrible and I hope now that they don’t come back.”

People living in the neighbourhood are hoping there won’t be a repeat of what happened in 2012.

One person said: “I’ve heard they might extend the closure order which is good news. It is a lovely area. We have never had any issues, just this house.”

A 53-year-old woman was arrested in the final raid on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs. She has been bailed until Friday, October 30.