Officers used civil legislation to secure a partial closure order at a problem address in Houghton-le-Spring
Anti-social behaviour rates have plummeted in a Wearside community after police banned visitors from entering a problem property.
Since April 2020, officers received nearly 60 reports of anti-social behaviour, disorder and suspected drug misuse associated with an address on Kirknewton Close, Houghton-le-Spring.
Those living in the area raised various concerns to police and Sunderland City Council, with the spiralling disruption often happening during unsociable hours and having a harmful effect on their quality of life.
After various warnings and advice to the tenants went unheeded, officers worked with the community to gather evidence and use civil legislation to successfully put a stop to the disorder.
A partial closure order was granted by magistrates in South Tyneside on August 3, which forbids anybody except the tenants from residing at or entering the premises for a fixed period. Anybody found to be in breach of the order faces arrest and a possible jail term.
Since the order was served, officers are yet to receive any further reports of anti-social behaviour or disorder on the street.
PC Stephanie Robinson, of Northumbria Police, said: “Securing this order was a fantastic outcome for the communities of Kirknewton Close and we are delighted with the results ever since.
“Where appropriate, we will look to pursue criminal proceedings against problem tenants but there are also other avenues such as closure orders that we can utilise to bring much-needed respite.
“Nobody should be made to feel intimidated or frightened in their own home, and that’s why we have done everything possible in order to shut this address down to visitors.
“We will continue to closely monitor the area, and should anyone breach this order, they will face criminal repercussions and potential time behind bars.
“I’d like to thank the whole community for their patience and cooperation throughout, and hope this outcome offers them some comfort. By working with the community and partners, we can continue to ensure this area remains a safe and pleasant place to live and work.”
Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “We were delighted to be able to support Northumbria Police in bringing this case to court by encouraging residents to report incidents, and capturing the impact that behaviour connected with this property was having on the community.
"No-one should have to put up with this type of anti-social and irresponsible behaviour in their neighbourhood and it's only right that tough action is taken against those who make their neighbours' lives a misery.
"The residents who reported this anti-social behaviour and worked with the City Council and Northumbria Police to take action against this anti-social behaviour deserve our praise."
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Local residents should not have to put up with this sort of behaviour and thanks to great work from Northumbria Police and Sunderland Council they will no longer have to.
“When necessary tough action like this gets my full support. We have to fight back against anti-social behaviour and I hope this sends out a strong message to those who don’t care and are intent on causing unwelcome trouble in our communities. Residents shouldn’t have to put up with this and neither will our police.”
Anyone who is concerned about anti-social behaviour or other criminality in their community is asked to report it to police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101.
In an emergency, or if a crime is happening, always ring 999.