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 19 Saunders Walk in Southway. 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 anti-social and threatening behaviour. The closure order relates to the property but was specifically brought in relation to the current tenants Kerry Milner and Lee Burnard. The next step will be to apply for a full possession order.
A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said: “The granting of this Closure Order at Saunders Walk 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.”
Inspector Brent Ireland from Devon & Cornwall Police said: “Today’s closure order demonstrates the determination of Devon & 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 suffered from unacceptable anti-social behaviour from this property over an extended period.
“The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act enables us to build on the strong history of partnership working we have in Plymouth and we will continue to work jointly with the council and Plymouth Community Homes to tackle any reports of problems.
“Anti-social behaviour significantly impacts people’s quality of life and this can only be tackled by the partner agencies supporting the local residents. 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 through Crimestoppers.”
Steve Ford, Head of Neighbourhoods at Plymouth Community Homes (PCH), said: “Going to court to remove someone from their home is always a last port of call for us. We work extensively with the tenant and the community on early intervention and other alternatives before turning to the law.
“All our residents have the right to feel safe in their homes and in their community. Where those who commit anti-social behaviour will not engage with us – and stop causing problems – then we will work with the police to bring legal action, as we have today.
“It is important for victims of ASB in our neighbourhoods to know they will be taken seriously by PCH and by the police. It is thanks to people standing up against unacceptable behaviour that we have been able to take this case to court today.
“We are pleased with today’s result, and will now be taking action to recover possession of the perpetrator’s home.”