DELIGHTED residents have expressed relief at Monday’s closure of Northwich crackhouses.

A Muir Group Housing Association flat in Waterbank Row was boarded up as part of a police operation which saw similar action at another crackhouse, a Weaver Vale Housing Trust property in St John’s Close, Rudheath.

Both properties were identified as a result of police intelligence gathering and complaints from residents about persistent and anti-social drug-related activity.

Orders granted by Chester Magistrates Court authorised police to take possession of the properties for three months.

Following the closures officers delivered leaflets to residents explaining the actions taken and offering reassurance.

The Guardian spoke to a number of residents in Waterbank Row, who did not want to be named, but expressed relief at the police action.

“It used to be peaceful here until all the druggies moved in,” said a resident.

“Since then people have been coming and going all times of the day and night, knocking on the door and shouting. I’m glad it’s been sorted out – it’s about time.”

Another resident had to put up with people knocking on his door, sometimes late at night, mistakenly believing his property was the one which has been boarded up.

“Sometimes it was every half an hour at its worst, and I got sick and tired of it,” he said.

A Muir Group Housing Association spokesman said: “We would like to reassure residents that Illegal activity and anti-social behaviour is taken very seriously by the Muir, and will not be tolerated.

“We will continue to work with Cheshire Constabulary and do everything in our power to assist the police with this matter.”

Weaver Vale housing manager Jackie Hodgson said the trust was pleased with the police action, and would continue to work closely with Northwich NPU in such cases.

“Neighbours were delighted to see an end to the nuisance caused by illegal activities at this property, and we will be taking legal action to formally end this tenancy,” she said.

Sgt Jason Murray said: “Drug dealers and users regularly attending properties can have a devastating effect on the communities around them, and can massively disrupt the peaceful existence of law-abiding people.

“While taking possession of someone’s house is an extreme measure, it is useful legislation we will continue to use to protect our communities.

“No-one should be forced to put up with the sort of behaviour the tenants of these properties displayed.”