Closure orders issued against council properties in Milton Keynes

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Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police have successfully obtained three Closure Orders against council properties.

It follows months of problems at flats in Granby Court and Serpentine Court, Bletchley, including noise nuisance, excessive numbers of visitors, drug related activity, and intimidation.

Under the Closure Orders, issued by city magistrates on Friday, only one tenant will be allowed to stay - but under close supervision - and no visitors will be allowed to access the address.

The other two properties will be closed and secured, preventing access for the tenants and any visitors for a period of three months.

The closure power, under the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014, allows the council or police to apply to the courts to quickly close premises which are being used, or likely to be used, to commit nuisance or disorder.

The closure power is a fast, flexible power that can be used to protect victims and communities by quickly closing premises that are causing nuisance or disorder.

Breaching a Closure Order is a criminal offence, carrying a penalty of either imprisonment for a period of up to six months or an unlimited fine, or both.

The use of this legislation is as a result of targeted work in areas with high levels of anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Nigel Long, the Cabinet Member responsible for Housing, said: “We hope that the closure of these properties will send a powerful message to the community that we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

“Unfortunately many victims were too afraid to come forward as witnesses, however we would like to thank those that bravely took a stand against anti-social behaviour as their statements were vital in securing these orders.”

PC David Smith, of Thames Valley Police, added: “In partnership with Bletchley Neighbourhood policing team, Milton Keynes Council has successfully put together evidence to obtain three closure orders.

“We do listen to the concerns and needs of the community and the action taken last week demonstrates.”