PHP’s Neighbourhood Team has used new laws to help secure a closure order on a home in Parkstone after neighbours endured months of anti-social behaviour caused by visitors to the property.
Thanks to changes to legislation under the new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, it is now a criminal offence for anyone except the resident and approved visitors to enter the boundary of the property for three months. Anyone breaching the closure order can be arrested and charged.
Bournemouth Magistrates Court heard how the occupier, who as a vulnerable resident was not the instigator of the problems, had previously invited visitors to their home.
These visitors, some of whom were believed to be sleeping rough, continued to return to the property on a regular basis against the resident's wishes, breaking in to the property, stealing from the resident and remaining in the property overnight in contravention of the tenancy agreement.
With the Neighbourhood Team's support, the resident has been able to remain in his home. PHP collaborated closely with colleagues at Borough of Poole and Dorset Police to secure the order.
Emily Watts, Housing Officer, said: “PHP is determined to tackle ASB and keep it out of our communities, so we’re delighted with the outcome of this case. The new laws meant we were able to protect the resident’s home and offer him the support he needed. Residents’ safety is paramount in everything we do, and the community should feel confident that their concerns have been listened to and dealt with head-on.”
Ian Cooke, Safer Communities Manager, Borough of Poole, added: “The new legislation has allowed us to close the property to a number of people who have been responsible for anti-social behaviour, without forcing a vulnerable tenant to leave their home as would previously have been the case with a closure order. We are very pleased with the outcome and the support of Poole Housing Partnership and Dorset Police. This demonstrates that behaviour that harms Poole’s communities will not be tolerated.”