Trouble flat closed down to prevent ‘public nuisance’ continuing

Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A closure order has been granted on a Suffolk address following reports of crime and anti-social behaviour.

The order was granted at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and will prohibit entry to the address for the next three months.

West Suffolk Council secured the order against the flat in Bury St Edmunds to prevent nuisance behaviour and criminal activity.

No one appeared at court to contest the application, made by the council in respect of a flat in Chalk Road South, under section 80 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

David Smithet, solicitor acting on behalf of the local authority, said the application was the consequence of anti-social behaviour, criminal activity, and the activities of people attending the property.

He said the social housing tenant had been contacted by local police and informed of the potential consequences – and that consultation had begun between the constabulary, council and mental health trust regarding appropriate action.

Mr Smithet said a copy of a closure notice was served on the tenant on Tuesday, with a bundle of documents containing statements from the police about reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.

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“The closure notice made clear the consequences of not moving out – that an application for a closure order would be made – and a laminated copy was displayed on the address,” he added.

Courts can grant an application for a closure order if satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that a person has engaged, or is likely to engage in disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour; that the use of the premises has resulted, or is likely to result in serious nuisance to members of the public, or that there has been, or is likely to be disorder associated with the use of the premises.

Mr Smithet submitted that all three criteria had been met, based on a “catalogue of incidents, intelligence and investigation”.

Magistrates said they were satisfied that the order was necessary to prevent public nuisance from continuing and to reflect the concerns of nearby residents.

No one will be allowed access to the property, other than housing association employees and contractors, for three months.

Anyone else remaining on the premises could be subject to a fine or imprisonment.

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