An Orbit South home in Folkestone associated with anti-social behaviour has become the first property in the county to be issued with a closure order by Kent Police following the introduction of new legislation.
Officers from Shepway Community Safety Unit applied to Channel Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 12 May after residents raised concerns that the property in Missenden Court was associated with drug abuse, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the area.
The house closure order will last for three months, and means that it is an offence for anyone to enter the property during this time. The property has been vacated and boarded up. A sign has been placed on the door with advice that it is an offence to enter the property.
The Closure Order is the result of multi-agency work by Kent Police, Shepway District Council and Orbit South following reports of criminal behaviour and disorder in the area since May 2014.
It is the first house closure order led by Kent Police in the county since the new powers became available under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Shepway Inspector Simon Johnson of Kent Police said: “Anti-social behaviour can have a detrimental effect on a community and if these incidents can be linked to an address, the new powers mean we can close that property down.
“Officers responded to concerns that a property in Missenden Court had caused persistent problems to other residents in the area.
‘There had been reports of noise, anti-social behaviour, intimidation, and assaults in the area and the address was also being used by people to deal or take drugs.
“Through the Community Safety Partnership, we worked closely with agencies to gather a case, and the results of a warrant carried out at the address on 30 April uncovered evidence of drug use at the address as well.
“The results of this closure order should have a beneficial effect for the community and we are grateful for the support received locally and from the partner agencies.
“We are dedicated to ensuring Shepway remains a safe and happy place to live and work in and we will not hesitate to take action on those who challenge that.”
Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee, Shepway District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said she welcomed the measures that had been taken. “We were pleased to be part of the proactive stance taken by all agencies to tackle the crime and disorder local people have had to endure.”
Orbit South Area Community Manager for Kent, Graeme Bosley, said: “We are proud to work in partnership with the Kent Police and Shepway District Council to use the new legislation to send out a clear message that anti-social behaviour on this scale will not be tolerated. We work hard to build communities where people feel safe and secure in their homes and will continue to do all we can to address this type of disruptive behaviour.”