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Closure order for Taunton flat linked to County Lines offending

PC Steve Linton outside the closed flat
PC Steve Linton outside the closed flat

A flat in Taunton linked to County Lines drug dealing will be closed for three months following a legal ruling.

A successful closure order application was made at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (October 3) relating to a flat within Ladysmith House, Crescent Way, Taunton. The application was submitted by Avon and Somerset Police but supported by the property owners Sanctuary Housing.

Reasons given for the closure included suspicious activity and suspected drug supply/use offences taking place within the property, criminal damage, anti-social behaviour including loud arguments and disturbances and an incident in which a woman was chased along a corridor by a man with a knife.

Somerset Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator Cerwyn Pritchard, who led on the closure order, said:

“This order hopefully sends a clear message that drug misuse and all forms of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated by the police and together we can use the legal powers at our disposal to take positive action and protect our communities.

“The conduct of this flat’s resident and those visiting him had a severe and detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of fellow residents, to the point where some felt afraid to continue living a normal life in the area.

“Our local neighbourhood policing team received a large number of complaints about the use and supply of drugs from this address by visitors and the occupants within, as well as the anti-social behaviour that invariably stems from this type of criminality.

“Working closely with Sanctuary Housing, who supported our closure application, we sought possession of this property in order to prevent any further anti-social behaviour in this neighbourhood.

“We rely on the community to give us information, in confidence, and I encourage anyone with any concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour within their community to contact the police. The more evidence we can gather in these and similar situations, the stronger the case we can present at court.

“I would like to thank all of those residents who have put their faith and trust in us. I hope this outcome shows we will take your concerns seriously and act, where the law allows. We’re determined to do all we can, working with partners and the community, to deal with those issues that cause such a blight on people’s lives.”