Community safety officials have secured the closure of two Hartlepool properties following complaints from neighbours about drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.
An application for Premise Closure Orders in respect of 15 and 17 Spurn Walk in the Burbank area of town was granted today (Wednesday 14th June) by Teesside Magistrates.
The application was made on behalf of landlord Thirteen Group by the multi-agency Hartlepool Community Safety Team which comprises staff from Hartlepool Borough Council, Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade.
The properties in Spurn Walk are Thirteen Group bungalows housing elderly and vulnerable people, and drug dealing and associated crime and anti-social behaviour had been occurring at and around both of the properties subject to closure at all hours of the day and night.
Issues include drug couriers on motorbikes visiting the properties, drug users waiting outside to buy drugs, drugs being openly used in the area, needles being discarded in the area, drinking, shouting, swearing and fighting and the repeated smashing of windows.
Councillor Mike Young, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council and Chair of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, said: “We are mindful that a number of elderly and vulnerable people live in this area, so we want to send out a clear message that the sort of behaviour that has been occurring in the area will not be tolerated.
“The Hartlepool Community Safety Team was set up to provide a co-ordinated response to neighbourhood issues that are having a detrimental effect on the lives of law-abiding residents, and these Closure Orders are great example of that.”
Inspector Zoe Kelsey of Hartlepool Neighbourhoods said: “Crime and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in Hartlepool. By gathering information and intelligence regarding this activity, we were able to apply for these Closure Orders, meaning that those responsible will not be able to return to their homes.
“The work of the Neighbourhood Team will continue, engaging regularly with residents to prevent these problems from arising again.
Thirteen’s Head of Housing Services Chris Marshall said: "The safety of our customers and local communities, like this in Hartlepool, is our absolute priority, and we will not tolerate our homes being used for anti-social behaviour. We are pleased the Closure Orders have been granted based on the evidence collected by Thirteen, Cleveland Police and Hartlepool Borough Council.
“We’re committed to continuing to work in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council and Cleveland Police to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime in our communities.”
The Closure Orders which prevent the tenants from accessing the properties, will remain in place for three months. The maximum penalty for a breach is 6 months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. Anyone who witnesses an order being breached should call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.