Closure order granted on St Albans house after suspected drug use

PUBLISHED: 18:01 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:01 03 July 2020

A closure order has been granted on a St Albans flat in Cell Barnes Lane. Picture: Helen Drake

A closure order has been granted on a St Albans flat in Cell Barnes Lane. Picture: Helen Drake

Archant

A closure order has been granted for the ninth time in 16 months in St Albans.

Officers from St Albans Community Safety Unit worked with St Albans City and District Council to secure the order under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The council flat in Cell Barnes Lane, was investigated after complaints of drug use and associated anti-social behaviour.

A warrant was carried out in May where drug paraphernalia and mobile phones were seized.

On Thursday June 25, St Albans Magistrates’ Court granted a three-month closure order. It means that no-one besides the local authority and emergency services can enter the flat for a period of three months. Anyone who breaches this order could be arrested, with further action taken against them.

The court was satisfied that the following necessary criteria for a closure order had been met:

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1) A person has engaged, or would be likely to engage, in disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour on the premises

2) The use of the premises has resulted, or would be likely to result in serious nuisance to members of the public

3) There has been, or there would likely be, disorder near the property which would be associated with that address

Abi Simons, from St Albans City and District Council’s community safety unit, 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 our community.”

Simran Chana from the St Albans Police community safety unit, said: “We were able to prove that suspected drug use and anti-social behaviour was having an adverse impact on neighbouring properties, even though understandably, some residents did not feel able to report the problems they were experiencing.

“No-one should have to put up with this kind of behaviour, especially on their doorstep. Everyone deserves to feel safe and happy in their home, and no one should be subjected to anti-social behaviour.

“This is the ninth closure order we have secured in the St Albans district in about 16 months and we will continue to use this power under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.”

Where closure orders are granted, the local authority or housing association can utilise specific legislation that allows them to seek full possession of the property.


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