Following a drugs raid by Essex Police at a council owned property in Prescott Green in Loughton, Epping Forest District Council’s Community Safety team get their first closure order granted.
The drugs raid uncovered a situation wherein a vulnerable council tenant was being exploited by a drugs gang. They were running their illegal business from his home, a crime referred to as cuckooing.
The gang members were arrested by Essex Police for anti-social behaviour and drug related offences. A closure order for the address was issued on 6 October 2016 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.
Protection of residents
Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller said: “We are extremely pleased with this result. A closure order gives the council the power to close a property and to prevent certain people having access, by listing authorised visitors. Anyone that enters the property without permission will now risk arrest for breaching this order.”
Designed to tackle serious anti-social behaviour
Councillor Gary Waller continued: “Closure orders are designed to tackle serious anti-social behaviour. The order was necessary in this case as a means to provide local residents with a break from the nuisance the gang caused them on a regular basis and most importantly, to give the vulnerable adult the help and support he needs.”
He continued: ‘’We take the safety of our residents very seriously and this is a great result for the local community and us. Thanks are due to our partners for working closely with us to achieve this outcome.’’