A shop linked to anti-social behaviour and the suspected illegal sale of cigarettes has been shut-down in a joint operation between police and the council.
Neighbourhood police officers in Gateshead had received a spate of complaints of anti-social behaviour around Istanbul Stores on Coatsworth Road.
The shop was suspected of being involved in the illegal sale of tobacco and the surrounding area had become a hub of anti-social behaviour.
The shop had been issued with warnings by officers at Northumbria Police and Gateshead Council’s Trading Standards Department.
But they failed to heed those warnings and last Tuesday the shop was served with a closure notice.
They have appealed the decision but an interim closure order remains in place until a hearing before magistrates in the town on Friday.
If a full closure order is granted at the hearing then the shop will be closed for three months.
Inspector Michael Robson, of the Northumbria Police's Gateshead Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said it was a great example of partnership work.
He said: “We have a fantastic relationship with the local authority and work closely with them to help improve the lives of residents and businesses in the town.
“The area around this particular shop had become a hub for anti-social behaviour and attracted large crowds of people.
“The shop owner was regularly spoken to by police and the local authority in a bid to prevent visitors to their store causing trouble in the community.
“However, they failed to listen to that advice and we have worked closely with the council to impose an interim closure order ahead of a court hearing next week.
“This should send a strong message to businesses who refuse to co-operate with authorities when it comes to making the town a better place to live.
“If we suspect a premises is not helping tackle anti-social behaviour and disorder then we are not afraid to take these kind of measures.”
Anyone with information about anti-social behaviour is encouraged to contact police on 101 or fill in an online reporting form at www.northumbria.police.uk.