Officers from the Community Safety Unit worked closely with St Albans City and District Council to secure a full closure order at an address in Folly Avenue, following ongoing drug use, anti-social behaviour and suspected breaches of COVID-19 guidelines.
Police obtained the order on Monday (May 10) under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 at St Albans Magistrates Court.
It means that no one besides the local authority, emergency services and utility companies can enter the property for three months. Anyone who breaches this order could be arrested.
Sergeant Mike Saunders from the St Albans Police Community Safety Unit, said: “No-one should have to put up with this kind of behaviour on their doorstep. As a result of complaints that both we and the council received, we responded to local residents’ concerns and a drugs warrant was carried out at the end of November, 2020.
“Drugs paraphernalia was found at the address and prompted the police to conduct covert observations, which led to several arrests of drug users about to enter the property. On Tuesday, one of the residents said, ‘I cannot tell you how happy the local residents are and the relief that the closure order has brought. This area already feels like a different and a much safer place to live, so thank you for all of your efforts with this closure order.’”
The court was satisfied that the following necessary criteria for a closure order had been met:
1) A person has engaged, or (if this order were not made) would be likely to engage, in disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour on the premises
2) The use of the premises has resulted, or (if this order were not made) would be likely to result in serious nuisance to members of the public
Where closure orders are granted, the local authority/housing association can utilise specific legislation that allows them to seek full possession of the property.
Simran Chana from the St Albans Police Community Safety Unit said: “This is the 12th closure order we have secured in the St Albans district in the last two years and we will continue to use this power to make our neighbourhoods safer.”
Kellie Kelley from St Albans City and District Council’s Community Protection Team, said: “We are committed to doing everything in our power to deal with suspected drug use and anti-social behaviour and a closure order is a significant step in protecting the community.”