City Council and residents work together to fight anti-social behaviour

Press Release: 04/02/2008

Winchester City Council is continuing to work closely with residents to take firm action against anti-social behaviour and drug use within any of its properties.

Following ongoing investigations into nuisance and anti-social behaviour, Winchester City Council, in partnership with Hampshire Police, have obtained a Closure Order on a property in Fivefields Road, Highcliffe.

Winchester City Council’s Housing Management team received numerous complaints about unusual and anti-social behaviour relating to the property. The complaints detailed frequent visitors to the address, noise nuisance, shouting, swearing, aggressive behaviour and concerns over drug dealing and usage.

The City Council acted on the complaints along with Hampshire Police. The police obtained evidence of Class A drug usage at the address and, working in partnership with the Public Re-Assurance Sergeant, the Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator, and the Neighbourhood Policing Officer, a joint application was made for a Closure Order.

On 21 December 2007, officers from Hampshire Police and Winchester City Council attended Aldershot Magistrates’ Court along with concerned local residents. Under the terms of the resulting three month Closure Order, the address was securely boarded up with metal shutters and nobody was able to enter or reside in the property during that time. Following the Closure Order, Winchester City Council attended Winchester County Court on the 22 January and obtained an outright Possession Order on the property. As a result, the tenant was officially evicted.

Cllr Tony Coates, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said:  “The Closure Order would not have been possible without support from the local community who provided substantial evidence to assist with the application. Winchester City Council would like to thank residents and Hampshire Police. By working together, we were able to take firm action and ensure that the matter was fully dealt with. Our residents have a right to feel safe and undisturbed in their homes and the City Council will work tirelessly to safeguard that right”

Neighbourhood Policing Officer, PC Dom Doyle added:  “It is imperative that the local community assists us in reporting any suspicious activity or individuals. Police in Winchester take a very robust stance and will not tolerate illegal drug use in any form.”

Winchester City Council and Hampshire Police hope that the Closure Order will send out a positive message to residents and encourage them to come forward with any concerns.