Officers get drug dealers' flat in Northamptonshire sealed after neighbours became afraid to leave their homes

Police closed the address in Church Mews, Kettering yesterday.
Police closed the address in Church Mews, Kettering yesterday.
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A drug dealers' flat has been closed for three months after neighbours were forced to endure 4am deals, armed raids by rival gangs and an overpowering smell of cannabis.

Life for the people living around the apartment in the Church Mews flat in Kettering, had become so miserable families feared to let their children out of the house, Northampton Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

Police closed the address in Church Mews, Kettering yesterday.

Police closed the address in Church Mews, Kettering yesterday.

Yesterday JPs granted Northamptonshire Police permission to shut the flat for three months.

Outlining the force's case in court, prosecutor Nicola Potts, said: "Numerous warrants were executed at that address due to ongoing drug activity.

"Drug paraphernalia has been found in the communal area regularly. It is frequented by squatters who are known to be drug users."

A warrant carried out on May 30 found a number of weapons, mobile phones and 50 wraps of class A drugs, Miss Potts said.

Police closed the address in Church Mews, Kettering yesterday.

Police closed the address in Church Mews, Kettering yesterday.

It was known to be used by a number of drug dealers, some of whom are currently awaiting trial.

The prosecutor also described loud music being played at all hours and various 'comings and goings' related to the sale of drugs until 4am.

One resident also said there had been disruptions on a "nightly basis", the court heard.

"Residents have had to put up with the strong smell of cannabis coming from the address," continued Miss Potts.

"People are living in fear in their own homes and they can't let their children out to play."

Other incidents included a woman overdosing in December, another woman 'thrown' down a stairwell over a drug-related argument and masked men entering the premises with 'iron bars'.

"Those in the community don't feel safe," said Miss Potts.

The application was made to close the flat three months 'to all parties at the address', except for the emergency services or any genuine future tenants.

Under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, police can close premises if it they seen to be a persistent nuisance.