Court order gives residents respite from anti-social neighbour in Bury St Edmunds

Residents in a street in Bury St Edmunds have been given respite from the anti-social behaviour after a neighbour was banned from his address by a court order.

West Suffolk Council, Suffolk Police and Havebury Housing Partnership have all been working together to try to resolve the crime and anti-social behaviour stemming from drug related activity at an address in Wollaston Close.

The property has been boarded up – Photo Credit West Suffolk Council

Those efforts failed to put a stop to the issue and so West Suffolk, with the support of police and Havebury, has successfully applied for a closure order.

The court order bans the resident and anyone else other than employees and contractors of Havebury, from entering the property for an initial period of three months. Anyone else found to be entering, could be jailed for up to six months or receive an unlimited fine for being in breach of the order.

The order, under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, was granted at a hearing at Ipswich Magistrates Court on Wednesday 13 March. Although the order is initially for three months, the council can apply for an extension for a further three months if it is felt it is required.

Magistrates granted the order after being satisfied that there was a risk of “disorderly, offensives or criminal behaviour,” likely to result in “serious nuisance to members of the public” and there is likely to be “disorder near those premises associated with the use of those premises.”

Cllr Donna Higgins, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities at West Suffolk Council, said: “For any resident, living next door or close to an address where there is persistent crime and anti-social behaviour, can leave them in a heightened state of fear, stress and anxiety. It can have a severe and damaging impact on their health and well-being. They need to know that we take this seriously and that the council, the police and the housing association will do everything they possibly can to help them and help our local communities thrive.

“Previous attempts and interventions to resolve this issue have failed and enough is enough. That is why, with the support of Havebury and the police, we have successfully applied for this court order to give residents some peace in their own homes.”

Inspector Andy Beeby of Bury St Edmunds police said: “Such actions are a last resort, but we have a duty and are prepared to act in response to complaints of anti-social behaviour which have a detrimental impact on the quality of life for those residents affected. 

“Suffolk Police worked with Havebury and West Suffolk Council to carry out joint reassurance visits to nearby residents and we hope this will improve the quality of life for them. It also sends the message that this type of ASB activity will not be tolerated and that we will take action.”

Amy St Ledger, assistant director of customer and housing services at Havebury, said: “This order demonstrates our commitment to dealing robustly with anti-social behaviour that impacts the lives of our residents. We will take action against anyone who breaches the terms of their tenancy agreement and work closely with the police and other partners to ensure our residents and the wider community can live peacefully in their homes.”