A property in St Albans linked to drug abuse and serious antisocial behaviour has been shut down after action by St Albans City and District Council.
The Council applied for a Closure Order on the flat in Lycaste Close under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
St Albans Magistrates granted the request at a hearing on Friday 15 June after being presented with compelling evidence that the property was a source of disorder and a nuisance to the community.
Hertfordshire Constabulary supported the application and provided details of incidents that police officers had dealt with at the address.
The effect of the order is that no unauthorised person, including the tenant, can enter the building over the next three months. Anyone who does so faces arrest.
The Council is now taking legal action in the County Court to recover full possession of the flat which it owns.
It may eventually be rented out again to someone on the Council’s Housing Register. In the meantime, it has been made secure and boarded up.
This is the first time the Council’s Community Protection team, which had received a number of complaints about the property, has obtained a Closure Order.
Councillor Salih Gaygusuz, Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community, said: “I am sure people living near this house will be delighted with the action we have taken.
“In recent weeks, we received persistent reports of antisocial and criminal behaviour, including drug dealing, linked to that address. In this case, we were able to compile considerable evidence during our investigations and intervened together with the Police to put an end to it.
“This first use by us of a Closure Order shows we are prepared to clamp down on these sorts of activities in partnership with the Police. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated in our District.”
Inspector Jon Roche of the St Albans Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “This is a great example of proactive work led by the Community Protection Team and supported by the Police.
“We remain committed to supporting our partners in looking for ways we can improve the quality of life for those who reside in and visit St Albans.
“I would urge local residents to please continue to report anything of concern to us via the non-emergency number 101. If you witness a crime in progress always dial 999.”