Lowestoft drug den is closed down
17:01 22 July 2014
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A Lowestoft home has been boarded up today after the property was said to be linked to the production and supply of class A drugs.
The flat in Suffolk Road, number 4B, has been closed down after a successful crack house closure order was made at Lowestoft Magistrates’s Court this afternoon.
The closure order is a result of work between the police, Waveney District Council, local residents and local businesses, and it means the property will be boarded up for three months, the occupier removed and no one is allowed to enter it.
Today’s closure order was made at court by Vicky Nutley council solicitor, who told magistrates there was “prevalent” class A drug use at the promises which adversely affected neighbours and nearby businesses.
The flat has a single bedroom and is privately owned and rented out to one man.
A police search in June found syringes containing brown liquid, believed to be heroin, and warps containing a white powder.
It is the first time a crack house closure order had been made in Waveney following the introduction of the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003.
After the short hearing Insp Richard Hill, from the Lowestoft North Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is excellent news for residents and businesses in Suffolk Road.
“With reasonable grounds for suspicion that the production, supply and use of a class A drug were happening – coupled with the associated disorder and nuisance it was causing, we worked closely with Waveney District Council’s anti-social behaviour team to apply for the closure order.
“We were made aware that it was an issue for local residents and businesses so we worked with the officers from the local authority to address the situation and getting the closure order is a good result for the community.
“The application is testament to our partnership working with other agencies and the local community and highlights the proactive approach we will take to address anti-social behaviour and drug offences, which in turn can lead to incidents of public disorder and nuisance, which is not acceptable to those living and working in the area.
“The closure order means that the property will be closed up for the next three months, and during this time we will carry out high-visibility reassurance patrols and continue to monitor the premises.”
Anyone who breaches the order by entering the flat can be fined up to £2,500 and or face up to three months in prison.
Mary Rudd, the district council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “This is an outstanding example of agencies working together to get an outcome which supports and protects our local communities.
“We work very closely with the police to manage and tackle drug and alcohol issues in the district and our anti-social behaviour officer Rachel Tucker deserves particular praise for co-ordinating the closure with Insp Hill and the team.”
The man who lived the flat is now on police bail until August 8.
A second closure order was also applied for at court today for a property in Raglan Street, Lowestoft.
The hearing was adjourned so that a full hearing will take place on August 4. A temporary closure notice will remain in place between now and that hearing.