Stockton property closed down following around-the-clock anti-social behaviour
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A Stockton property at the centre of constant drug dealing and around-the-clock anti-social behaviour has been shut down.
Teesside Magistrates' Court heard on Tuesday, August 1 that residents living near the property on Howard Place were living in fear, with some afraid to leave their homes on a night.
Witnesses spoke of regularly seeing drug dealing at the property, with around 40 people a day visiting the three-bedroom terrace "at all hours", many of them "intoxicated or under the influence of drugs".
The court heard some residents wouldn't let their children play in the street as they were worried about them witnessing these incidents. Needles and drug paraphernalia had also been seen near the local play area.
In a statement from Cleveland Police, magistrates were told the property was "known for drug dealing", with a constant flow of traffic coming to and from the rear of the house. In June, seven people were arrested inside the property for suspected drug dealing offences, the court was told. Class A and C drugs, cash, mobile phones and weapons were also recovered from the house.
Police officers said they had received in total 30 reports of incidents related to the Howard Place address, including "several serious and persistent drug and violence related incidents", dating back to December 2020.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council secured a Closure Order on the property in partnership with Cleveland Police. The order means the tenant, Laura Leeming, must not enter the property and it will be inaccessible to anyone for three months.
The order was supported by Accent Housing which owns and rents the house.
Councillor Norma Stephenson, the Council's Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: "The shocking activities at this property left local residents feeling extremely scared and unsafe for many months, with witnesses initially afraid to come forward for fear of repercussions.
"It's absolutely unacceptable that innocent people should endure such behaviour which some say has affected their health, and I'm very pleased the closure order will bring some peace to the neighbourhood.
"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 and ward councillors."
Inspector Mitch Baldwin from the Stockton Neighbourhood Police Team said: "Drugs cause nothing but suffering in our communities and thanks to our colleagues at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council they have ensured the property has been closed to stop further drugs activity on this street.
"We will always do our utmost to support our colleagues at the Council and will continue to work closely with them to clamp down on criminal activity."