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Problem house at centre of drug dealing is shut down

22 December 2020

An 'unbearable' problem house at the centre of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour has been closed.

Image of closure warning sign being put up

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, in partnership with Cleveland Police, secured a Closure Order on 6 Dixon Street, Stockton today (22 December).

The order means the tenant, Andrea Derbyshire, aged 45 and her partner, Richard Carlyon, aged 73, must not enter the property and it will be inaccessible to anyone for three months.

The property is now boarded up and anyone remaining at or entering the premises will be in breach of the Order, which is a criminal offence punishable by up to 51 weeks' imprisonment and a fine.

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

The majority of the complaints relate to drug dealing as well as fighting, spitting, banging on doors and a constant flow of visitors by car and taxi at all hours, the Court was told. Neighbours said the behaviour associated with the house was 'unbearable'. They felt 'intimidated', lived 'in constant fear' and experienced 'lack of sleep and anxiety'.

Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: "Ms Derbyshire and her visitors, including Mr Carlyon, made life very difficult for neighbouring residents and left them feeling scared in their own homes. This behaviour will not be accepted and it is only right that we take action.

"We have worked very hard with Cleveland Police to shut the property down and I'm pleased life will return to normal for others in the street. I'd also like to thank our Case Management Officers who gathered the evidence necessary to help secure this Order."

Neighbourhood Inspector, Jon Willoughby, said: "Acting on concerns from the local community and observations from our patrolling officers, we executed a warrant at the address last week. We have worked closely with the local authority, who have obtained a closure order on the address to prevent anyone entering. We hope that this is a welcome relief to the local residents and we hope that this sends out a message that anti-social behaviour linked to alleged drug dealing will not be tolerated in Stockton."