Nuisance neighbour to be forced out following complaints of anti-social behaviour

A closure order has been granted on a flat in Plymouth following repeated complaints of anti-social behaviour.

Devon and Cornwall Police applied to Plymouth Magistrates Court for a closure order on 27 Hilton Avenue, following repeated complaints from neighbours about anti-social behaviour by tenant Colin Prouse, 47. They have been supported in the order by Plymouth Community Homes, who own the property, and Plymouth City Council.

The Order was brought due to extensive evidence that the property is associated with class A drugs and the anti-social behaviour associated with class A drugs. It follows the introduction of the new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 in October.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives, Housing and Community Safety for Plymouth City Council, said: “This granting of this Closure Order at Hilton Avenue gives a clear message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in Plymouth, and demonstrates what can be achieved when everyone works together.

“The courage of the residents in coming forward and giving evidence about anti-social behaviour was the catalyst that made this happen.

“We are pleased to be able to work together with the people in the local community to respond to their concerns in this way.”

Superintendant Chris Singer from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Today’s closure order highlights the determination of Devon and Cornwall Police to take positive action against antisocial behaviour when necessary. Police have shared residents’ concerns about this address for some time and have used this new legislation to good effect to help those residents whose lives have been blighted by unacceptable antisocial behaviour from this property for many years.

“The new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act helps us build on the solid foundations we have in Plymouth and strong history of partnership working and we will continue to work jointly with the council and PCH to tackle any reports of problems.

“Antisocial behaviour significantly impacts people’s quality of life and this can only be tackled by working with partner agencies and the residents themselves. If anyone is suffering similar problems within their neighbourhood we would urge them not to suffer in silence and to come forward to talk to police or report concerns anonymously trough Crimestoppers.”

Clive Turner, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes, said: “Our aim is always to try and work within the community and with the tenant involved before going to court to remove someone from their home. Legal action is always a last resort for us, we look at early intervention projects and remedies before taking that route.

“However, anti-social behaviour is something we take very seriously and it is not acceptable for our residents to feel intimidated in their homes and immediate neighbourhood. We have made a public pledge to provide a high quality ASB service, putting the victims at the heart of any action we take. Everyone has the right to live peacefully and safely in their home and community.

“In this instance, residents at Hilton Avenue were subjected to anti-social behaviour which had a terrible impact on their quality of life, including unwanted visitors and noise at all hours, and which left them afraid.

“We would like to acknowledge the bravery of those local residents who gave evidence in this case to allow the legal action to go ahead, resulting in a safer community. The closure will stop people gathering at the address and we are now seeking a possession order to make sure the problem is fully resolved.”