Closure order secured for problem Stockton flat
A flat at the centre of suspected drug dealing and around-the-clock anti-social behaviour has been shut down in Stockton.
Teesside Magistrates' Court heard yesterday (Tuesday, May 23) that residents living near the property on Wembley Way were "living in fear" and fed up with constant visitors to the property who arrived at all times of the day and night.
Witnesses spoke of up to 60 people a day visiting the flat at all hours. The court heard these visitors were disruptive and behaved in an anti-social way with reports of people urinating in the street and drug paraphernalia littered around. The use of off-road motorbikes by those visiting the property also caused a lot of noise, nuisance and created an intimidating environment for those living in the street.
The court was told that the threat of violence was a real concern with people witnessing fighting and on some occasions weapons were being used. One resident said that they are afraid to leave their own home which was affecting their mental health.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, in partnership with Cleveland Police, secured a Closure Order on the one-bedroomed property, which will now be inaccessible to anyone for three months.
Councillor Norma Stephenson, the Council's Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: "The shocking activities in and around this property at all times of day and night have made residents' lives a misery, and they've had enough.
"People have an absolute right to live their lives in peace and not be scared to leave their own homes.
"I hope this closure order sends the message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in our communities and brings relief to people living in the area.
"I'd like to thank our Civic Enforcement Officers for their hard work and dedication to help secure the closure order alongside the local policing team."
A Cleveland Police Spokesperson said: "This closure is another example of our positive and robust approach to tackling crime with our colleagues from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.
"Drugs cause nothing but misery in our communities and the closure of this property shows the public that we will not tolerate drug dealing and we will do everything possible to clamp down on this level of criminal activity.
"Anyone wishing to report crime or antisocial behaviour is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."
Anyone worried about crime where they live can report it to police on 101.
For Council news direct to your inbox sign up to our My Council Newsletter.