A house which has plagued a neighbourhood with antisocial behaviour has been shut down for three months after police secured a closure order.
A closure notice was posted onto the door of the ground floor flat of 8 Winston Avenue by officers from the Charles Cross neighbourhood police team earlier this month with the aim of seeking a full three month closure order.
However, on the day the case was expected to be heard in court the matter was contested and a full hearing set down for today – Monday.
Police have revealed that over the past 18 months they have received numerous complaints regarding the flat from residents in Winston Avenue.
Two Misuse of Drugs Act warrants have been executed at the property – both which resulted in a quantity of drugs and drug paraphernalia being seized – and police say the venue has been the focus of drug-related antisocial behaviour day and night, even during the lockdown period.
Last month officers carried out a drugs bust at the location, with neighbourhood and force support group officer wearing protective gear as they forced their way into the flat.
In addition, sniffer dogs were deployed to assist with a search of the property.
Four people at the flat – three women and a man – were also searched during the operation.
Police at the scene confirmed that the man had gone into a bathroom moments after officers began their attempts to force entry to the flat.
A spokesperson for the police team said they had been working with Plymouth City Council to secure the closure notice and had been gathering evidence to secure full closure orders at Plymouth Magistrates Court.
However, after initially claiming they would be contesting the order, at today’s hearing no-one turned up to argue against the police’s action and the courts approved the order in their absence.
In addition, the court demanded the tenant – Charlie Gibbons – must pay £1,000 towards court costs incurred by the preparation for the hearing.
Pc Jon Hitt told Plymouth Live: “We were fully prepared with witnesses and a large bundle of evidence to prove that a closure order was entirely necessary to tackle the antisocial behaviour linked to the property.
“However, despite initially claiming they were going to contest the order, at the appointed time nobody attended to oppose it and Magistrates have now agreed the order.
“As far as the police, the council and the residents are concerned this is a cracking result.
“This will restore order to the street and give the residents of Winston Avenue a well-deserved period of respite.
“The order was granted due to suspected drug dealing, antisocial behaviour and associated criminality which continued for up to 18 months, during the day and night.
“During that time we carried out two drug warrants, both of which were positive.
“I’d like to thank the local residents who assisted us greatly with key evidence and I hope that they can now get back to living their lives in peace.”