Drug dealing tenants kicked out of council home

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PROBLEM tenants who dealt drugs and intimidated their neighbours have been prevented from returning from their council house.

Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police served the Property Closure Order on a house in Buckby, Tinkers Bridge on Friday.

The move followed complaints of loud music, shouting, swearing, arguing in the street, drug-dealing and intimidation of residents over an extended period of time.

The Order is part of legislation introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 and allows local authorities and police to present evidence to a magistrates’ court in cases of significant and persistent disorder.

It closes the premises for an initial period of three months and prevents anyone occupying the address and living there. The Order can be extended to last a further six months, or an application can be made to magistrates to prove the property has been returned to a managed state. Anyone who fails to leave the address or re-enters it is committing an offence and could be liable to a fine, imprisonment or both,

Magistrates found significant and persistent nuisance had occurred involving the family who lived at the premises, as well as visitors.

Council intervention officer Lisa Williams and PC Dave Goodwin provided statements at the court.

Following the granting of the order, the former residents of the property have signed a notice to quit and have surrendered their tenancy, avoiding the need for an eviction.

PC Goodwin, the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer for Milton Keynes, said: “This is a power not often used within Milton Keynes because of its severe consequences, but in this case the residents were scared and intimidated, so positive action was needed.

“The behaviour of the family has been disgraceful and there has been no thought or consideration for their neighbours, with loud music, arguing, threats and intimidation a regular occurrence. The occupants were warned about their behaviour and given every opportunity to change. They chose not to and are now facing the consequences.”

Milton Keynes area commander Superintendent Barry Halliday added: “This type of supportive joint working between police and the local authority has once again yielded a positive result and will improve the lives of people living in that neighbourhood, who have been subjected to an unacceptable level of anti-social behaviour.”

And the council’s head of community sfaety Richard Solly said: “Our first priority is to protect the public. Fortunately we have an excellent tradition of multi-agency working in Milton Keynes and this Premises Closure Order could not have been achieved without the hard work of all staff involved and in particular the relevant police and housing officers who compiled and presented the evidence.”