Closure order issued on flat in The Vinefields, Bury St Edmunds

Police stock. Picture: ARCHANT

Police stock. Picture: ARCHANT

A closure order was placed on a property in Bury St Edmunds after it was taken over by drug dealers.

The notice was displayed on a flat in The Vinefields ... the second order of its kind in the same area of the town.

Police had permission to issue the notice from magistrates sitting in Ipswich earlier yesterday and by lunchtime it was placed on the door of the property which is owned by Havebury Housing Association.

The male tenant has already been moved out and the operation was jointly carried out by Suffolk police, St Edmundsbury District Council and the housing association.

PC Neil Brown, who heads up anti social behaviour issues in Bury, said that the tenant had been the subject of “cuckooing”, a form of crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing.

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He said: “There was a lot of anti social behaviour going on here and it was causing a serious nuisance for other residents in the area.

“We gained a warrant to enter the flat and executed it on September 4 and crack cocaine was found and as a consequence four people have been arrested and are currently going through the courts. They are a combination of people living in the town and outside.

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“The tenant had not been able to stop the drug dealing from happening because of his vulnerability.

“Someone reported it to us on his behalf which started the process off and was reported to police and it is important that people can see that we are dealing with these issues.”

He said that a previous closure order had been put on a property in Magna House, in nearby Eastgate Street, some months ago.

Pc Brown added: “These people will use various methods to get into a property and start dealing and in this case the tenant was here as well.”

The order said that magistrates granted the order of November 15, 2017, under the anti social behaviour, crime and policing act as they believed that the use of the premises had resulted in a serious nuisance to members of the public and that a closure order was necessary to prevent the nuisance or disorder continuing.

The propery has been boarded up by Havebury and will unoccupied for the foreseeable future, the notice added.

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