Type=image;ImageID=10700;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Highlighting the partial closures orders secured;TitleClass=strong;
The City of Wolverhampton Council, supported by West Midlands Police and Midland Heart, secured partial closure orders for numbers 44, 65, 103, 106 and 112 Chester Street, Whitmore Reans, amid concerns over drug use and drug dealing in the local area.
It follows the launch of a major operation by police to disrupt the supply of drugs in Wolverhampton.
A series of early morning raids at a number of properties in the Whitmore Reans area on Thursday 14 July marked the start of Operation Eliminate, a long term campaign designed to remove a "significant quantity" of illegal drugs from the streets and tackle the associated harm caused.
Following the raids, a number of individuals were arrested on suspicion of a variety of drug offences including possession of and conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
The partial closure orders were granted by Walsall Magistrates Court on Wednesday 21 September. The closures were carried out by representatives of the council's Anti Social Behaviour Team and Midland Heart, which owns the properties in question, shortly afterwards, with the support of the police.
The orders determine that 44, 65, 103, 106 and 112 Chester Street be closed to everyone except the tenant and named family members for the next 3 months. The orders also mean that Midland Heart can apply for possession of the properties if required.
Any breach of the closure orders could lead to a prosecution and, on conviction, a prison sentence of up to three months or a fine.
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Operation Eliminate and these subsequent closure orders are great examples of agencies working together to tackle a serious problem which was blighting the lives of law abiding residents.
"We want to make our communities safer and better places to live by addressing the root causes of crime and anti social behaviour.
"These actions demonstrate how seriously the authorities take criminal activity and anti social behaviour and sends out a very clear message - drug dealing on our estates will not be tolerated."
Supt Keith Fraser from Wolverhampton Police said: "This action by the council is part of our partnership approach to reduce the harm caused by drug dealing. It shows we are committed to longer term solutions for communities. It also sends a warning message to those involved in drug dealing."
The power for local authorities to issue full and partial closure notices to tenants, and subsequently apply to the courts for closure orders, was introduced through the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It is designed to protect victims and communities by quickly closing premises that are causing nuisance or disorder.
Councillor Sweet added: "Many people feel uncomfortable about reporting anti-social behaviour, for fear of repercussions or reprisals, but these powers give the authorities the chance to take action using information they have obtained from victims anonymously."
Anyone who is concerned about drug crime in their neighbourhood is asked to call West Midlands Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always call 999.
People are encouraged to report concerns about anti social behaviour to Wolverhampton's Anti Social Behaviour Team in confidence by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01902 551188.
Recovery Near You offers free help and support to people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. It has two 24 hour support lines, one for adults on 0300 200 2400 and one for young people on 0300 123 3360. Alternatively, people can log on to Type=links;Linkid=3084;Title=Recovery near you;Target=_blank; or email email@example.com.
The closure orders granted on Wednesday 21 September are the latest to be secured against properties in Wolverhampton, after authorities shut down houses in Parkfields and Bushbury last autumn.
Caption: Highlighting the partial closures orders secured against numbers 44, 65, 103, 106 and 112 Chester Street are Lynda Jones from Midland Heart, Wolverhampton Anti-social Behaviour Team Manager Joanne Mason, Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, and PC Adrian Chandler and PC Chris Seymour from St Peter's and Park Neighbourhood Policing Team
- released: Friday 23 September, 2016