TWO more ‘crack houses’ have been shut down in Northwich as police move to dismantle drug dealing and restore a quiet life to residents.
Magistrates issued closure orders for 17 Harrisons Place and 24 Peter Street on Monday, less than two weeks after they agreed to close down a flat in Drillfield Road.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne visited Harrisons Place to see the impact of the order.
“I’ve been speaking to local residents and they’re saying it’s the first time in three years they’ve been able to leave the house without shutting all the windows,” he said.
“That’s a pretty powerful anecdote about the effect anti-social behaviour can have on people’s lives.
“I do champion this kind of action in the simple sense that Parliament has given us this legislation and we should use it.
“It’s a good example of neighbourhood policing in action.”
Northwich Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) has worked with Cheshire Police solicitor Elizabeth Heavey and Weaver Vale Housing Trust to build up evidence and secure the orders.
On Monday, Chester Magistrates’ Court heard that police had been called out to 17 Harrisons Place, occupied by 39-year-old Paul Christopher Taylor, 85 times since 2003 and that the address was frequently visited by other drug users, causing concern and anxiety for other residents.
The court also heard that 24 Peter Street, occupied by 36-year-old Andrea Davies, was one of the most reported homes for drug related activity and anti-social behaviour in the area.
Insp Paul Loughlin, from Northwich NPT, said: “We are constantly arresting drug dealers and although we are having success in terms of convictions and recovering lots of drugs off the streets, once one dealer has gone you get someone else.
“We’re constantly fighting against a continuing splurge of drug dealers coming into town.
“Now we are trying to dismantle the ability of drug dealers and users to deal drugs in town.”
He added: “Once people realise that not only are they going to be arrested but they are likely to be evicted it will really start focusing minds.”
NPT officers leafleted neighbouring residents to inform them of the closures and Insp Loughlin praised communities who have helped police build evidence.
“We want to give residents some peace of mind and a quiet life, which is what we believe they deserve,” he said.
Anyone concerned about suspicious activity in their community should ring Cheshire Police on 101.