Neighbours tell of nightmare after nuisance flat is shut down by police
Police have closed down a South Tyneside flat in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.
The property, in Collingwood Street, Hebburn, has been made the subject of a three-month Closure Order after Northumbria Police gathered evidence that occupants and visitors had created disorder and serious nuisance.
The property is just the second flat in South Tyneside to be shut under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The first was in September, last year, when a home in Eglesfield Road, South Shields, was closed down for two months.
The case was brought before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court after the flat had been used for the ‘abuse and use’ of drugs, including the dealing of Class A substances.
The flat in Collingwood Street must now remain closed after an order was granted by Sunderland Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The order states that anyone who enters the flat over the next three months could face a fine, imprisonment, or both.
The move came after two people being arrested in January for assault and criminal damage connected to the property, and a further two arrests for arson in February.
Last September, a search warrant was carried out and two people were arrested for possession of drugs. Powers to authorise dispersal orders have also been utilised in the area in an effort to quell the disorder.
One neighbour said the occupants of the flat often fought in the street and generated a lot of police activity.
They said: “The police were here all the time, there were kids going in and out of the house all the time, fighting in the street with weapons – it was awful.
“It makes me not want to live here any more. I don’t think this is an extreme measure by the police, it had to be done. I’ve lived here for 13 years and never seen anything like this. Since they moved in, the problem has just grown and grown.”
However, another neighbour said they had no problem with the residents.
They said: “I never had any trouble from them, they were always very polite and helpful. When I received a letter from the police asking about it, I emailed them saying I’d never had a problem.”
Hebburn Neighbourhood Sergeant Matt Hough said: “We’re pleased the order has been imposed and the property must now remain closed for three months as it will give local residents some reprieve from the disorder.”