Action has been taken to seal off a flat in Hartlepool after complaints from the community about anti-social behaviour and drugs activity.
The Hartlepool Community Safety Team successfully applied to Teesside Magistrates for a Closure Order on 35 Wynyard Mews under the terms of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The order runs until January 9 next year and makes it a criminal offence for any person to enter or to remain in the property during the closure period – apart from three named persons exempted by the court.
A breach of the order is punishable with a fine of up to £5,000, imprisonment of up to 51 weeks or both.
Anyone who witnesses the order being breached should call the police on 999 or they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
The property is a privately-rented second floor flat in the Wynyard Mews housing complex and the Closure Order was agreed at court with the landlord – who is not being named.
The landlord also agreed to pay £1,250 legal costs to Hartlepool Borough Council.
The Closure Order was granted as a result of serious criminal activity, disorder and anti-social behaviour occurring in and around the property, say officials.
Chief Inspector Nigel Burnell, from the Hartlepool Community Safety Team, said: “The problems occurring at this particular property also had a significant impact on the surrounding area, resulting in the other three flats in the same block becoming empty.
“The problems also affected communal areas within the block of flats, affecting other residents. These have now been addressed as part of a “day of action” carried out at Wynyard Mews by the Hartlepool Community Safety Team.
“By securing this Closure Order we want to send out a clear message that criminal activity such as this will neither be tolerated nor allowed to make the lives of others a misery.”
The Hartlepool Community Safety Team brings together staff from Hartlepool Borough Council, Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade with the aim of providing an effective multi-agency response to community safety issues.