An entire block of flats is now subject to a partial closure order after Bedfordshire Police made use of innovative legislation for the first time.
The force has issued a partial closure order for three months on Chandos Court in Bedford after ongoing issues of drugs and anti-social behaviour for over a year, meaning that only residents, immediate family and support workers can enter.
Luton Magistrates’ Court granted a partial three-month closure order on the entire block of flats and two full closure orders on two addresses inside the tower block on Friday, July 31, 2020.
Today (Tuesday, August 4, 2020) a full closure order has also been granted on an address in Richbell Court in Bedford linked to last week’s operation.
The team worked closely with housing association bpha and Bedford Borough Council to resolve local community concerns and apply for the closure order.
Sergeant Emma Underwood, from the Bedford community policing team, said: “We are extremely happy with the results from court. This is the first time we have used this power and it will make a huge difference to the residents living there.
“This is a huge piece of work that has been ongoing for months and could only have been achieved alongside the hard work from our partners.
“We remain committed to investigating these issues and stamping out organised crime and exploitation in our community.”
Kevin Bolt, bpha’s chief executive, said: “This outcome is a really good piece of joint working with our partners and is testament to the hard work we have been doing over a number of months to make these homes a better place to live for our communities.
“We have listened to what our residents have told us and have worked to tackle the issues they have raised. The closure orders will make a real difference to the lives of our customers and the wider community and we are committed to continue working with our partners to ensure the best outcomes for all.”
Cllr Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Partnership working which brings together expertise from the council, Bedfordshire Police and bpha alongside our communities really is key in the success of these kinds of operations.
“This outcome sends a clear message that drug-related antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated in Bedford Borough and we will work with partners to ensure that we use all available powers to tackle these issues in communities to keep people safe.
“The ongoing operation is to really make a difference in this area and that residents can see and feel that difference.”
You can report concerns around drug activity and wider anti-social behaviour via the online reporting centre on our website. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.