Court grants closure order at flat after drug use and persistent ASB
A nuisance tenant whose flat was believed to be part of the illegal drug-running County Lines network has been banned from his own home under a closure order secured by Newark and Sherwood District Council working in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police.
Karl Allsop (22), who lived at an address on Bakewell Close, Balderton, must stay away from the property for three months following the order made by Nottingham Magistrates on February 4.
The court heard that the police has received more than 40 reports of incidents by members of the public, which included drug-taking and drug-dealing, street fights, arguing, shouting and threats of violence made by Allsop and his constant stream of visitors.
The court heard how Allsop’s unlawful behaviour had adversely impacted the local community, with neighbours being harassed and verbally abused by his associates. There were also incidents of theft from nearby properties as well as neighbours being subject to random door-knocking and finding unknown visitors sleeping in communal sheds linked to the flats on Bakewell Close.
The catalogue of incidents taking place at the property also includes daily and clearly visible drug-related activity, including that of individuals visiting the address, allegedly both to buy and supply drugs.
The property was raided by police in October 2019 as part of a County Lines investigation which found drugs at the address.
Under the terms of the closure order, Allsop can only go to the property once to collect belongings. Other than that, only council officers (or maintenance companies) and emergency services are allowed to enter the property. The property is closed to Allsop and if he, or any other person not specified in the order enter the premises, they are committing a criminal offence and risk arrest.
Councillor David Lloyd, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said “We will not hesitate to take action to protect and safeguard our residents where criminal and anti-social behaviour is taking place, regardless of whether it is private or social housing.
“Making the district safer is a key part of our Cleaner, Safer, Greener agenda and our residents have a right to feel safe in their own homes and communities. The occupier of this house has persistently disturbed and upset the community by behaving unreasonably.
“Those affected have had to endure this for too long and although we offer a lot of support and advice to tenants so that they can maintain a tenancy, in this case that offer was not taken. Ultimately we have taken this action to protect the community who have had to live with this distress on a daily basis and I would like to thank them for their resilience in very difficult circumstances.”
Inspector Heather Sutton, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood Police, said: “Persistent anti-social and unlawful activity taking place at this property was having an adverse impact on the local community, causing residents to fear living in their homes. Nottinghamshire Police has worked closely with the district council to close this property.
“This is positive action we’ve taken to send out a clear message that we will not tolerate this behaviour in the community. If other residents are experiencing this kind of behaviour then please be assured that we will take action to remove disruptive residents.”
The closure order was made under Section 80 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers are designed to allow local authorities and the police, working in consultation with each other, to take swift and effective action to stop those responsible for severe and persistent anti-social behaviour.
Despite previous warnings by the council and police about his behaviour, the situation did not improve which resulted in the closure order being applied for.