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Balaclavas, machetes and drug deals: problem Portrack flat is CLOSED

04 June 2024
A grid image showing the closure order being issued at the Eastport Road property and the closure order itself

A grid image showing the closure order being issued at the Eastport Road property and the closure order itself

A "drugs den" flat which left residents with sleepless nights and living in fear has been closed down.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, in partnership with Cleveland Police, secured the closure order of 21 Eastport Road in Portrack today (June 4).

The order means the tenant must not enter the property and it will be inaccessible to anyone for three months.

Anyone trying to enter the boarded-up flat can be prosecuted.

Information presented to Teesside Magistrates' Court detailed a series of incidents at the flat, including people arriving in balaclavas and carrying machetes.

And a recent incident where windows were smashed at the property has left nearby residents fearful for their safety.

There was also a constant stream of visitors to buy drugs, including during the night on motorbikes and via taxis, which left neighbours unable to sleep.

Carolyn Nice, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Director of Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said: "Nobody should feel unsafe in their own home, but that has been the sad reality for residents living near this flat, which has turned into a drugs den.

"It's quite shocking what has been going on, so I am delighted that the closure order can bring some much-needed respite for the innocent neighbours in the area.

"Thank you to our Civic Enforcement Team, who have worked tirelessly on this case alongside our partners at Cleveland Police."

Stockton Proactive Team and Community Action Team Sergeant, Darren Williamson said: "To echo the comments of Carolyn, nobody should feel unsafe in their own home.  Drugs activity is inevitably linked to serious violence and incidents of antisocial behaviour.

"The activities conducted at this property had links to organised criminality and drug dealing; this has caused the local community to live in fear so I am delighted that the closure order can bring some much-needed respite to the residents.

"It also sends a clear message to those involved in drug dealing, serious violence and the antisocial behaviour associated with such criminality will not be tolerated.

"I'd like to thank our partners in the Council, Thirteen Housing and Civic Enforcement Team, who have worked alongside us in progressing this case to court.

"Due to the quality of the information and intelligence presented before the court, the Magistrates immediately granted the closure order.

"Working alongside our partners we will, with the support of our communities, conduct further closure orders when and where appropriate."

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