CLOSED: Problem house at centre of drug dealing, fighting and vandalism
A drugs den which left neighbours feeling "intimidated", "isolated" and fearful of being "victims of violence" has been shut down.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, in partnership with Cleveland Police, secured a closure order on 3 Trinity Street, Stockton today (7 February).
The order means the tenant at the centre of the anti-social behaviour - Mr Richard Carlyon, 72 - has been evicted and the property will be inaccessible to anyone for three months.
The house is now boarded up and people are being warned that it is a criminal offence for anyone to try to enter and they can be prosecuted.
Teesside Magistrates' Court heard how a series of complaints about the property have been brought to the attention of police, local ward councillors and civic enforcement officers over the past 18 months.
The complaints relate to drug use and drug dealing, a constant flow of visitors at all hours, physical fighting, verbal abuse and threats, urinating in the street, littering, and vandalism, the court was told.
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: "All residents have the right to feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods, but the actions of Mr Carlyon and his visitors left people in his street feeling extremely scared and anxious.
"We have worked very hard with Cleveland Police to take action and I'm pleased that we have been able to put an end to months of misery. I'd also like to thank our Civic Enforcement team and ward councillors whose efforts helped us secure this order."
Sergeant John Sproson, from Stockton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Cleveland Police will not tolerate drugs activity and the associated nuisance and crime which goes hand in hand with drugs. After concerns about this property were raised, we have worked closely with our partners to address these issues.
"Officers have carried out drugs warrants at this address previously and drugs have been recovered. Let this be a warning to anyone who thinks that being involved in drugs activity is acceptable, we will take action to stop the misery for those living in the local community and, where appropriate, this includes removing people from their properties."
The property is within the Central Stockton Community Partnership which brings together the Council, police, fire brigade, social landlords like Thirteen, and voluntary organisations to make central Stockton a better place to live.
Anyone with information regarding anti-social behaviour in their area should contact Cleveland Police on 101.