A number of local residents in Bedford Road, Guildford have told police of their delight that their children can finally safely play in the area again. This is after a property has been subjected to a Full Closure Order following ongoing reports of drug related anti-social behaviour.
The Order was granted by Staines Magistrates’ Court against 14 Bedford House on Monday (29 July) following the hard and persistent work of the Guildford Neighbourhood and Anti-Social Behaviour Teams.
This property had previously been made subject to a Partial Closure Order on 24 April which allowed the tenant to stay at their address, however the District Judge acknowledged that this Order had not been fit for purpose. Despite being given the chance to remain at the address, the tenant disregarded this Order and police continued to receive reports of ongoing anti –social behaviour and nuisance. The property continued to be the subject of multiple complaints from local residents, who reported frequent disturbances during all times of the day and night and continued drug related activity - including the smell of cannabis coming from inside the address.
It was due to the relentless commitment of the teams involved and their effective engagement with the local community that a Full Closure Order was sought a second time and finally granted by the District Judge this week.
Officers and members of staff who worked on the case explained how the Closure Order has already had a positive impact on the people who live in Bedford House.PCSO Chris Moyes said:
“When I went and spoke to residents yesterday after the court hearing, I had one person nearly in tears with relief that the court had granted the full closure and felt that it was so much safer.
“When I went into the courtyard areas in front of the flats, I heard an adult voice say ‘it’s okay, you can go out and play now because Chris is here’, before seeing a resident talking to their child. I told them what a Full Closure Order meant and they were delighted. As I waited for the council to come and secure the property, within 20 minutes there were approximately nine children playing, something I’d never seen there before.”
ASB Case Builder Lucy Lumsden, stated: “This result at Court will no doubt come as a huge relief to the local community who have had to endure the drug related anti – social behaviour and ongoing nuisance associated with this flat for far too long. The tenant of this property had been given numerous chances to turn matters round at the address, but continued to show total disregard for their neighbours. Local officers worked closely with the community to ensure their voices were heard at Court.”
In other success stories across Surrey, two more Closure Orders have been granted for similar reasons. Another Full Closure Order was granted on Monday against 6 Alexandra Close in Staines due to drug related anti – social behaviour occurring at the property. The Order will no doubt provide reassurance to a number of elderly residents, whose lives were being disrupted as a result of the tenant and their associates’ behaviour at this address.
In addition, a Partial Closure Order was granted against a property in St Michael’s Road in Camberley to protect the tenant from ‘cuckooing’. Cuckooing is a term used when County Line Drug Dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person to use it as a hub for their criminal activity. This Partial Closure Order will ensure that the victim can remain in their home and receive the safeguarding support they require.This Order was also sought to prevent the associated anti – social behaviour, crime and disorder from impacting on the local community.
Surrey Police has zero tolerance when it comes to anti-social behaviour and we encourage the public to report the signs of it to us. We have recently held an intensification week around asb, which Anti-Social Behaviour Manager Jo Grimshaw describes as a success.
“I was very proud to see the amount of partnership working showcased during Surrey ASB week and I would like to thank all those who got involved this year. It is testament to the commitment in Surrey that partners will work together to tackle anti-social behaviour and support victims by helping them rebuild their lives which have been blighted by this type of behaviour.
“The on-line engagement allowed a few victims who until now were suffering in silence to make contact with us, so we have been able to put suitable support plans in place for them.
“We have had 2102 responses for the on-line ASB Perception survey and myself and the ASB Partnership Board will shortly be looking at the results and using the findings to shape the new 2020-25 Surrey ASB Strategy.
“I would encourage people to visit: https://www.healthysurrey.org.uk/your-health/community-safety/asb to understand who the best agency is to contact if they have an issue and the support on offer.
“It also the place to get more information on the Community Trigger which can be used to officially ask for a review of the ASB situation if you feel it has not been dealt with correctly and this still continuing to be an issue.
“Last week was just a snapshot of what is happening daily in Surrey to tackle ASB, if you or someone you know are suffering from ASB then let someone know, don’t suffer in silence, there are things we can do that can reduce the impact of ASB in the community and on people’s lives.”
We would like to thank everyone who responded to our survey on how anti-social behaviour affects your life and how we can help you. In total, we had 2102 responses and we are currently working through this feedback to deliver another campaign this Autumn – you can find out about the latest updates and developments by following the hashtag #SurreyASB.