Residents plagued by repeated incidents of anti-social behaviour can finally breathe easy following Swindon Borough Council’s successful attempt to shut down a drug den.
People living on County Road have for the past two years been subjected to numerous bouts of anti-social behaviour due to a drug gang having taken up residence at number 16.
But Swindon Borough Council today successfully obtained a Closure Order for the property, meaning it will be shut for three months ensuring no further disturbances for residents.
Councillor Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “We are very pleased to have obtained a Closure Order for this property.
“The residents who live nearby have been subjected to an enormous amount of anti-social behaviour and we have made it crystal clear that we will act, when necessary, to protect the community.
“Closure Orders were brought in precisely for cases like this in which crime and anti-social behaviour at a premises is having a detrimental effect on those who live nearby.”
Closure Orders can be used to close a premises and restrict all access to it for up to six months, making it a criminal offence to enter.
In this case, the order will last until 22 September with a review hearing set for 20 September to consider whether an extension for up to a further three months is necessary.
When granting the order, District Judge Simon Cooper praised the “hard work” of the local authority and its partners in taking positive steps to resolve the problem.
He said: “This order is necessary to prevent these levels of anti-social behaviour from happening again and I am more than satisfied that the order is necessary to protect members of the public.”
It is thought that large quantities of needles and drug paraphernalia will be found at the property when inspectors prepare it for closure in the coming days.
The Council worked to secure the order in conjunction with Wiltshire Police.
Sgt David Tippetts, Wiltshire Police’s Swindon North Community Sgt, said: “This legislation enables us and our partner Swindon Borough Council to close properties that cause and attract anti-social behaviour which impacts on the local community.
“Getting this property closed for three months will enable us to implement a long term solution and any persons entering the house during that period will commit a criminal offence which will be robustly enforced.
“This demonstrates how seriously we take reports of anti-social behaviour and we encourage anyone who is suffering this type of behaviour to report any information via 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”