Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Anti Social Behaviour Order closes Bush house

On Friday 5th February 2010, Wormholt and White City Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) (in partnership with Peabody housing association and LBHF) successfully closed a property on the Cleverly Estate, Wormholt Road, Shepherds Bush W12.

The team had been approached by Peabody’s Community Safety Team after they had received numerous complaints of disorder and anti-social behaviour originating from the property. Officers interrogated police records and compiled a full case file for an application to be made under Part 1A Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. This is a relatively new piece of legislation that has evolved from the original ‘crack house’ closures. The legislation gives the Police and their partners the power to close properties on the grounds of anti-social behaviour alone.

This is the first time the legislation has been used in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and the case file is regarded as a benchmark for future applications.

It was not just the actions of the tenant that brought this action about, but those of the visitors to the address. The power relates to the property, not the occupant, and will result in a property being closed for an initial 3 month period, with a possible extension of up to another 3 months. The use of this power is regarded by the courts as something of a last resort, and a proven record of attempts to engage with the tenant and the use of less disruptive action needs to be evidenced for such an order to be granted.

From the original issue being brought to the attention of the Police by Peabody, it took just three weeks to compile evidence, consult with LBHF, attend court and close the property.

PC Gareth Davies from the Wormholt & White City Safer Neighbourhoods Team said: “We are very proud to lead the way in the use of this legislation. It requires people to take responsibility not only for their own behaviour, but for others living at or visiting their home. This latest power further enables the Police and our partners to take the fight to the doorstep, and beyond, of those who live their lives with no regard or respect for others. We will not tolerate it.”

Peabody Community Safety Officer Laura England said: “Anti-social behaviour is unacceptable in our communities and we will move swiftly to help put an end to it. Working jointly with the Police and Hammersmith and Fulham council, we’re thrilled to have achieved this closure order. Those in the local community will now be able to enjoy their homes in peace and feel safe again.” 

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