Police closure orders successfully tackle anti-social behaviour and drug offences

Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator Cerwyn Pritchard and another officer at the property in in Wall C

Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator Cerwyn Pritchard and another officer at the property in in Wall Court. Picture: Avon And Somerset Constabulary. - Credit: Avon And Somerset Constabulary

Police are celebrating after successfully turning the fortunes around for several problem properties in a Somerset town.

Neighbourhood police in Highbridge have been working with the police antisocial behaviour (ASB) team and partner agencies to tackle problem premises in the town.

In the past nine months, four nuisance properties have been dealt with throughout the town.

Officers obtained closure orders from Taunton magistrates for a home in Ladd Close which was being used by drug dealers in June, and another in Wall Court, in July which was described as a ‘hot spot for antisocial behaviour and drug activity’.

Police also found drugs and weapons at the address and the occupants were arrested for drug offences.

ASB co-ordinator Cerwyn Pritchard who led on the closure on behalf of Avon and Somerset police, said at the time: “This order sends a clear message that drug misuse and antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will use all legal remedies to protect our community.

“The conduct of this resident has had a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of their neighbours, to the point where some felt afraid to continue living in the area.”

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The team worked with a private landlord to tackle similar issues at a third property in December 2019.

All three addresses now have new tenants and officers are no longer getting reports of ASB.

The neighbourhood and ASB teams continue to work together with partner agencies to tackle these issues.

In March, officers gave a statement in support of a successful application for a possession order at the county court for an address in Parsons Road, Highbridge.

Neighbourhood inspector Joe Piscina said: “This sort of action really is a last resort.

“The team works hard to tackle this sort of issue by engaging with the individuals involved, using acceptable behaviour orders and other tactics.

“Officers will also put people in touch with support services and offer safeguarding if people are vulnerable and being taken advantage of.

“We will make sure communities do not have to endure the misery of this sort of drug-related antisocial behaviour.”