Kettering flat plagued by drug use and anti-social behaviour closed by police

The ‘nuisance’ flat has been locked up and the tenant moved elsewhere
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A Kettering flat where drug-related activity made life a misery for others in the community has been made subject to a three-month closure order and boarded up thanks to the local policing team.

Since May 2022, Northamptonshire Police’s Kettering Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) has been responding to reports of drug use and associated anti-social and criminal behaviour at a property in Orient House in the town’s Cobden Street.

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In September 2023, following escalating issues at the property, the NPT began gathering information about the impact on other residents, collating evidence and liaising with the housing association.

The 'nuisance' flat in Kettering has been closed by police (Picture credit: Northants Police)The 'nuisance' flat in Kettering has been closed by police (Picture credit: Northants Police)
The 'nuisance' flat in Kettering has been closed by police (Picture credit: Northants Police)

As a result, investigating officer PC Isabelle Nottage applied to the courts for a closure order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

At a hearing at Northampton Magistrates’ Court earlier this month (February 1), a three-month closure order was granted, meaning the flat will be locked up with the tenant moved elsewhere.

Speaking afterwards, PC Nottage said: “The illegal drug-related activity happening in this flat was causing significant and ongoing concern to others living there, and after building a picture of just how bad things were, I knew we had to act.

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“Using the word nuisance to describe the behaviour doesn’t do the situation justice – people were scared to walk through the building in case they were targeted by those using the flat, and parents were unable to let their children play in communal areas because they feared them coming across drug paraphernalia, alcohol or bodily fluids linked to this address.

“People were also repeatedly disturbed by drug-users buzzing on the building’s intercom to gain access, witnessed drug-dealing and drug use in the emergency stairwell, and generally lived in fear about what could happen next.

“Although the fear of repercussions meant people didn’t feel able to provide statements, the information they shared with me and the evidence I gathered meant I could present a compelling case in court, and I am thrilled for those living in Orient House that this closure order was granted.

“The feedback so far is that people are already more positive about living here, and I am grateful to the housing association for their support in this application and in making improvements to the flats to improve residents’ quality of life.”

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Following the court hearing, on February 2 PC Nottage visited the flat with representatives from housing association emh and the property was closed.

For the next three months, the only people allowed in the flat are emergency services and housing association representatives.

Anyone else found there can be arrested and if convicted, will face up to 51 weeks in prison, a fine, or both.

Alison Kreamer, director – communities and customer service at emh, said: “We want all our communities to be places where people can enjoy their homes in peace.

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"Our partnership with Northamptonshire Police is very important to us, and the outcome from this case demonstrates the benefit of organisations working together.”

If you are experiencing problems where you live, please don’t suffer alone.

Report to Northamptonshire Police by calling 101, or going online at www.northants.police.uk/RO.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Find information, advice and support here - www.northants.police.uk/advice