A flat in south Gateshead has had a closure order served following a series of violent incidents.
The Gateshead Housing Company took the action following a pattern of anti-social behaviour incidents at the flat in Balmlaw, Beacon Lough East.
Several serious violent exchanges, mainly perpetrated by visitors to the property, including the tenant’s boyfriend, spilled out into the street in full view of children who were playing there.
The Gateshead Housing Company working with Northumbria Police served a 24-hour closure notice, attending Gateshead Magistrates Court the following day, where a three-month closure order was imposed.
This marks the first time a closure order has been used in Gateshead. The order means that only the tenant, employees and agents of the housing company, and the emergency services are allowed access to the property.
Anyone else – including the tenant’s boyfriend – who enters the flat will face arrest.
In the tenant’s five-month tenancy she has racked up a considerable list of reported incidents including:
- Violent fights both inside and outside the property, escalating to stabbing and squirting ammonia at the face
- Damage to the property, including smashed windows and doors
- Nuisance visitors on motorbikes creating a disturbance and publicly taking drugs.
The tenant, who cannot be named, has also been served with a Notice of Termination – this is the first step towards legally ending the tenancy.
Neil Bouch, The Gateshead Housing Company’s Director of Customers and Communities, said: “We want to help people feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods without the threat of anti-social behaviour.
“So we will not tolerate the unreasonable behaviour of a small minority of residents who cause a disturbance to other residents.
“The housing company will continue to work with Gateshead Council, the police and the courts to reduce the threat of anti-social behaviour across the borough.”
Acting Police Inspector Tim McIntyre of Gateshead Neighbourhood Policing said: “This is an excellent example of partnership work that listens to and responds to public concerns. We will fully support and enforce these prohibitions and work to improve the quality of lives of Gateshead’s residents.”
Residents wanting to report any type of anti-social behaviour should contact their nearest housing office or call 0191 433 5327 from Monday to Friday until 5pm and on 0779 9583197 from 5pm to 7pm.
Between April 2015 and March 2016 we took 636 Formal and Legal Actions. This equates to 2.5 actions being taken each working day.
A number of other cases are pending that could result in further action against anti-social tenants and their families.
However, despite these actions, we resolve over 94 per cent of cases without the need for legal action, and the company is working with other agencies to put preventative measures in place to tackle anti-social behaviour and its causes.