Shutters installed at former Hartlepool care home plagued by dozens of 999 incidents
Access to the site has now been stopped after dozens of reports of anti-social behaviour and fires.
Admiral Court, in Cleveland Road, Hartlepool, has been closed since mid-2015 after inspectors found a number of failings.
The empty building has been vulnerable to antisocial behaviour, fires and fly tipping, resulting in an increase in call outs for local emergency services.
In recent months, Cleveland Police have received a total of 36 reports of antisocial behaviour while Cleveland Fire Brigade were called to seven incidents at the former care home in June alone.
Now metal shutters have been installed to secure the building and prevent groups of youths from congregating inside and causing criminal damage following action by the council, police and fire service.
Councillor Shane Moore, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council and the chair of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, who has visited the site with town MP Jill Mortimer, said: “This building has been a blight on the local area and a constant source of nuisance for residents for some considerable time, so I am pleased that action has now been taken to secure it.
“We want to send out a clear message that owners of empty buildings such as this have a responsibility to ensure they are safe and secure at all times.
"Where they fail to discharge this responsibility, the council will consider how it can best use the legal powers at its disposal to bring about improvements.”
Previous action by the council to secure the site has been unsuccessful and the building has remained open to unauthorised access.
Cleveland Police have said that the ownership of Admiral Court is complex and that a legal notice was served to the owners requiring them to secure the building and remove rubbish from the site.
Whilst some rubbish was removed, the work to secure the building was not carried out.
It has meant the council carried out the work in default to secure the building with metal doors and window shutters.
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Pauline Duffield, from Hartlepool Neighbourhoods Policing Team, said incidents of anti-social behaviour at the site have put a “huge demand” on emergency services.
AS13 warnings, which threaten legal action, have also been issued to deter people from returning.
She added: “Over recent months Cleveland Police has received a total of 36 reports of antisocial behaviour and issued a number of AS13s due to youths entering the Admiral Court building.
“This puts a huge demand on police and other emergency services.
“By working with our partner agencies, we have now managed to secure the premises and protect members of the public from risk and serious injury.”
A Cleveland Fire Brigade spokesperson added: “Our crews have attended over 20 incidents at Admiral Court since April 2021, time and resources that could have been used more efficiently.
“Cleveland has the highest rates of arson in the country which causes damage and blight to our local areas dragging the area down.
"Parents and peers have a collective responsibility to take a pride in their communities and where they live."
Admiral Court, which specialised in nursing care, closed in mid-2015 after inspectors found a number of failings.
Residents had to move out and a number of staff lost their jobs.