A drugs den which left neighbours fearing for their safety and suffering from anxiety and sleepless nights has been shut down.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, in partnership with Cleveland Police, secured a closure order on 166a Durham Road in Stockton today (October 20).
The order means the tenant – a 32-year-old woman – must not enter the property and it will be inaccessible to anyone for the next three months.
The house is now boarded up and anyone who tries to enter can be prosecuted.
Teesside Magistrates' Court heard details of a series of incidents which have taken place at the property since June, including masked men appearing at the house in the middle of the night with baseball bats and knives.
Drug deals would regularly happen in broad daylight with a constant stream of visitors outside the property via car, taxi, bike and on foot.
Some drug deals would even take place in the cemetery across the road from the property.
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: “The shocking behaviour of this tenant has left residents feeling anxious and living in fear wondering if their home could be damaged or even broken into.
“There is no way anybody should feel unsafe in their home but unfortunately this has been a reality for residents living near 166a Durham Road, which became a magnet for anti-social behaviour.
“I’m delighted the closure order will bring to an end months’ of turmoil for innocent neighbours in the area.
“I’d like to thank our Civic Enforcement Officers for their dedicated hard work to help secure the closure order alongside the local policing team and ward councillors.”
Stockton Neighbourhood Inspector Jon Willoughby added: “Today’s closure order is a great example of police and partner agencies working together to tackle criminal activity to improve our communities.
“The occupants of this property caused nothing but misery to the people living in this area and thanks to intelligence from the community, the property has now been shut down.
“Enquiries are ongoing regarding the suspected criminal activity at this address.
“If you have any information about criminal activity in your area please contact us on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”