Crack House Closure: Hampshire Police and Winchester City Council work together to fight anti-social behaviour

Following ongoing investigations into nuisance and anti-social behaviour, Hampshire Police, in partnership with Winchester City Council, obtained a Closure Order on a property in Stanmore this week.

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

Working in partnership with Hampshire Police the City Council acted on the complaints and, following evidence of Class A drug usage at the address, a joint application was made for a Closure Order.

On 31st May 2011, WPC Clark, Anti-Social Behaviour Officer from Hampshire Police, and Laura Brown, Community Relations Officer from Winchester City Council, attended Andover Magistrates' Court along with concerned local residents. The Court was satisfied that the address had been used to supply Class A drugs and that disorder and serious nuisance had been caused to local residents.

Under the terms of the resulting three month Closure Order, the address has been securely boarded up and nobody is able to enter or reside in the property during this time. Winchester City Council’s Housing Management team will now be initiating proceedings to take possession of the property due to the serious breach of tenancy.

Richard Botham, Head of Housing said: "The Council is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and takes a firm stance on the supply, use and misuse of drugs. 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 in their homes and the City Council will work tirelessly to safeguard that right."

Inspector Patrick Reddin, Head of Safer Neighbourhood Policing for Winchester District said, ”This demonstrates the power of the Community Safety Partnership. We will not tolerate residents who engage in criminal activities especially those activities which impact and deteriorate the lives of nearby residents. We acted swiftly to deal with this problem, liaised closely with residents and compiled a comprehensive report for the courts. We are especially thankful for the input from residents and the understanding from the courts which contributed greatly to this result. We hope that other Winchester District residents, who may be thinking of engaging in similar activities and behaviour, will take note of the action we took on this occasion. We will not hesitate to take similar action in the future where appropriate.”

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