Croydon Council’s antisocial behaviour officers have been busy helping residents in their battle against criminal and offensive neighbours, successfully securing a number of Premises Closure Orders (PCOs).
In August police executed a warrant and found drug paraphernalia, crack cocaine mixing agent, and several digital weighing scales at a property in Kidderminster Road, Croydon.
After speaking with neighbours the council’s antisocial behaviour officers learned that the premises was known in the area as a local drugs den and worried residents had seen a rise in crime since the property was being used for taking and dealing drugs.
Croydon Magistrates Court granted a closure order for three months from 12 October and the premises are now secured. Residents have since expressed their gratitude for the work of the police and council which has meant peace has returned to their street.
A PCO was also obtained after drug dealing was found to have been taking place at a property in Stroud Green Gardens in Croydon. In this instance residents reported the ‘cuckooing’ of a vulnerable tenant. Cuckooing is a practice where people take over a person’s home and use the property to facilitate exploitation.
It was reported that the perpetrators were abusing the location to deal and take drugs, vandalising the property and littering the communal areas, leaving both the tenant and residents living in fear.
Neighbours were relieved to hear that the order closing the property has been obtained, which has now been extended for a further three months, and the tenant re-housed to a place of safety.
Drug dealing and taking was also said to have taken place at a property in Bensham Manor Road. For months residents had to endure a long list of offensive behaviour including fighting, vandalism, arguing, ringing residents’ buzzers and frequent visitors to the property at various times of the night and early hours of the morning.
The police had attended the premises on numerous occasions finding drug paraphernalia and cannabis and a closure order was obtained to shut down the property on 20 July which has just been extended for a further three months.
Residents are also breathing a sigh of relief that their lives are no longer blighted by antisocial behaviour coming from a property in Menlo Gardens, Upper Norwood.
Serious complaints had been made regarding offensive behaviour which included shouting, swearing, loud arguments, verbal abuse, hammering, rubbish thrown into the gardens of residents, loud music at various times of the day and night, and even several incidents of flooding of another property.
On 13 July the court granted a partial PCO excluding everyone else and allowing only the tenant to live in the property. The order was extended for another three months on 9 October.
“We will never tolerate residents living in fear of their own neighbours and everyone has the right to feel safe in their own homes. Whether it be the dealing of drugs or verbal abuse, what our residents had to endure in these instances was unacceptable and we will always use our powers to prosecute tenants who make the lives of others a misery.
“I am very pleased that the court has granted our applications and congratulate the good work done by the police and our antisocial behaviour enforcement officers. I hope that this strong action will be a deterrent to others and reassure our residents that they can count on our support.”
Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for communities, safety and resilience