Officers from the Dacorum Community Safety Unit have been successful in securing a Closure Order on an address in Hemel Hempstead under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The property – a flat in Kimpton Close – was being investigated following complaints from neighbours about suspected drug use in the address and anti-social behaviour, including the resident’s dog –a Pit Bull Terrier that is classified as a dangerous dog under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 – being out of control in publicly accessible communal areas (the stairs and landing areas).
Police were granted a three month Closure Order at St Albans Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday, January 31).
The court was satisfied that all the necessary criteria for a Closure Order had been met:
1) that a person has engaged, or is likely to engage, in disorderly, offensive or criminal behavior on the premises, or
2) that the use of the premises has resulted, or is likely to result, in serious nuisance to members of the public, or
3) that there has been, or is likely to be, disorder near those premises associated with the use of those premises,
Hertfordshire Constabulary worked in partnership with Dacorum Borough Council to gather evidence in support of the Closure Order. Where closure orders are granted the local authority/housing association can utilise specific legislation that allows them to seek full possession of the property.
The order prevents anyone from entering the property for three months and anyone who breaches this can be arrested.
Community Safety Sergeant Mike Saunders said: “Although Closure Orders are generally a last resort they are a very powerful tool in the fight against anti-social behaviour. We will not hesitate to use them where the behaviour of residents and their visitors is disrupting and having a negative impact on the lives of those living around them.”
Prior to the Closure Order being granted officers secured a warrant under the Dangerous Dogs Act to seize the resident’s dog for multiple breaches of its Certificate of Exemption, including that the dog should be muzzled and on a lead in any area that the public has access to and ensuring that third party insurance is in place.
The six year old Pit Bull Terrier is currently being kept in kennels.
Sgt Saunders added: “If you have a dog that is covered by a Certificate of Exemption under the Dangerous Dogs Act, it is vital that you adhere to all of the requirements such as making sure the pet cannot escape, ensuring it is on a lead and muzzled when in a public place and that insurance is in place.
“If you are unsure of the rules please check your Certificate of Exemption for full details. If you fail to adhere to these you could be prosecuted and your pet could ultimately be destroyed.”
Anyone with information about anti-social behaviour or drug activity in their neighbourhood can report the details to police online at herts.police.uk/report or by calling the non-emergency number 101.
Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org