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CLOSED: Problem flat at centre of drug dealing, knife fights, and parties despite Coronavirus lockdown

01 May 2020

A flat at the centre of drug dealing, fighting with knives and large gatherings during the Coronavirus lockdown has been shut down.

Image of flat closure order

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, supported by Cleveland Police and the Thirteen Group, secured a closure order on 6 Knole Road in Billingham today.

The order means the tenant - Carl Darren Harrison, aged 39 - must not enter the property and it will be inaccessible to anyone for three months.

The first floor flat is now boarded up and if anyone tries to enter they will be prosecuted.

Teesside Magistrates' Court heard details of a series of complaints relating to incidents that have taken place at the property since November last year.

A street fight with knives was witnessed in February, while in a separate incident the same month a man dropped a machete on the ground while running to a parked car.

The majority of the complaints relate to drug dealing and a constant flow of visitors by car, taxi, bicycle, moped and on foot at all hours.

This has continued despite the Coronavirus lockdown, with a party reportedly taking place at the property on March 25.

Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: "The activities of the tenant and his numerous associates have caused misery and distress for the good people of this area.

"This kind of behaviour just will not be tolerated. I'm pleased we've been able to work closely with Cleveland Police to take this decisive action to close and secure the property.

"I'd also like to thank our Civic Enforcement Officers, who have worked with residents to put together the evidence necessary to secure this order."

Neighbourhood Sergeant John Sproson added: "Following a drugs warrant at this same address earlier this year, police have since had a number of additional complaints and more recently there have been issues regarding breaches of coronavirus regulations.

"We would always encourage anyone who may be suffering due to drugs activity or anti-social behaviour in their area to contact police. Today's action is one example of how we act on that information and do what we can to eradicate drugs from our communities."

Anyone with information regarding anti-social behaviour in their area should contact Cleveland Police on 101.