Closure notice served on problem property in Handsworth
Officers from the Lozells and East Handsworth policing team have been working with Midland Heart Housing Association to tackle issues of crime and anti-social behaviour associated with a property in Douglas Road, Handsworth that has caused misery to the local community.
Birmingham Magistrates Court granted a three-month closure notice on the property on Friday (1 February) following complaints from local residents of noise, anti-social behaviour and crime. Police have attended the premises more than 10 times over the past 12 months and arrested several occupants for drug and other crimes.
Local residents were so fed up with the intolerable situation they presented a petition to Midland Heart calling for action to be taken and they worked with the tenant to sign an anti-social behaviour contract to curtail the unacceptable behaviour.
Unfortunately, in spite of these efforts, criminal activity continued at the premises and the partner organisations agreed to seek a closure notice under the Anti-Social Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Inspector Ifty Ahmed, neighbourhood policing manager for Perry Barr constituency, said: “We became aware of a stream of visitors on foot throughout the day and night displaying behaviours associated with drug usage and alcohol abuse. Many children live in the area, walk these streets to school and often have to navigate their way around these individuals, so I am pleased the courts have granted us a three-month closure order which will close the property with immediate effect and provide respite to the community.”
Vicki Brownhill, Head of Housing Management at Midland Heart, said: “We take legal action only as a last resort and our team will always endeavour to engage with, and work with, tenants to resolve issues of anti-social behaviour.
“In this instance, however, our efforts failed to have an effect and we have worked with the police to gain the closure order. This now enables us to seek possession of our property. We hope other residents in the area feel reassured by our joint action with West Midlands Police to try and create a safer and more pleasant environment for neighbours and the wider local community.
“We also hope this action gives a strong message to any perpetrator that criminal and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and could have a serious impact on their tenancy with Midland Heart.”