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Cleveland Police, Hartlepool Borough Council and Cleveland Fire Brigade have been working in partnership to tackle antisocial behaviour centred around an empty property.
Admiral Court, located on Cleveland Road, has been closed for a number of years and has been vulnerable to antisocial behaviour, fires and fly tipping; resulting in an increase on demand for local emergency services.
Hartlepool Community Safety Team (a partnership of Hartlepool Borough Council, Cleveland Fire Brigade and Cleveland Police) has worked together to problem solve, in order to reduce nuisance behaviour and stop access to the site.
Metal shutters have been installed to secure the building and prevent groups of youths from congregating inside and causing criminal damage.
The Council has previously taken action to secure this site. This unfortunately has been unsuccessful, and the site has remained open to unauthorised access.
The ownership of this site is complex, but the Council has served a legal notice on the owners requiring them to secure the building and remove rubbish from the site. Whilst some rubbish was removed, the work to secure the building was not carried out and the Council has therefore carried out this work in default to secure the building with metal door and window shutters and prevent groups of youths from congregating inside and causing criminal damage. The council will look to take action to recover the costs of the work.
Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, said: “This building has been a blight on the local area and a constant source of nuisance for residents for some considerable time, so I am pleased that action has now been taken to secure it.
“We want to send out a clear message that owners of empty buildings such as this have a responsibility to ensure they are safe and secure at all times. Where they fail to discharge this responsibility, the Council will consider how it can best use the legal powers at its disposal to bring about improvements.”
Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Senior Head of Prevention, Protection & Engagement said: “Our crews have attended over 20 incidents at Admiral Court since April 2021, time and resources that could have been used more efficiently.
“Cleveland has the highest rates of arson in the country which causes damage and blight to our local areas dragging the area down. Parents and peers have a collective responsibility to take a pride in their communities and where they live. The Brigade provides a free programme to educate and change the behaviours of fire-setters so if you have any concerns with your children please visit our website for more information.
“Incidents of deliberate fires, can be reported confidentially to Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111.”
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Pauline Duffield from Hartlepool Neighbourhoods Policing Team said: “Over recent months Cleveland Police has received a total of 36 reports of antisocial behaviour and issued a number of AS13s due to youths entering the Admiral Court building; this puts a huge demand on police and other emergency services.
“By working with our partner agencies, we have now managed to secure the premises and protect members of the public from risk and serious injury.”
Cleveland Police’s Hartlepool Neighbourhoods Inspector Danny Trippett said: “We have worked with our partners to problem solve and provide a solution to the ongoing problems at Admiral Court. Cleveland Police have carried out a safety visit to check the premises before the shutters were installed and we have been involved in the many calls to emergency services to reported issues on the site.
“It’s vital that everyone feels safe in their local area, and I hope that residents feel safe now the building has been secured. If you’re concerned about antisocial behaviour call my team on 101.”