Tenth property closure order made in 12 months in Newcastle

The closed-off property at Todds Nook
The closed-off property at Todds Nook

A serious case of anti-social behaviour (ASB) at a property in the West End of Newcastle has led to the 10th closure order being issued across the city in the last 12 months.

It comes as a result of Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) investigating a number of neighbour complaints regarding a tenant at Todds Nook.

There had been reports of noisy activities, people coming and going at all times of the day and night, shouting foul and abusive language, fighting in the block and other anti-social behaviour at the address.

The YHN Safe Living team investigation, carried out in collaboration with Northumbria Police, provided a strong case of evidence to present to Newcastle City Council. The council was then able to use its ASB powers to apply for a closure order at the property.

That order was granted in court on March 13th, meaning the tenant and any guests or visitors to that flat are banned from entering the flat for at least the next 3 months.

This is the 10th Closure Order secured by YHN and the city council since 14 March 2018 on various addresses across the city, where neighbours have suffered from serious anti-social behaviour.

Matthew Foreman, customer services director at YHN, said: “It is hugely important to us that the communities in which we have homes are safe, enjoyable places to live for everyone.

“We pride ourselves on working closely with partners to tackle anti-social behaviour quickly and effectively when it arises.”

Cllr Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “While we prefer to offer to support individuals to alter their behaviour and make use of a range of prevention work to stop it in the first place, sometimes, more serious action is required.

“In this case enforcement was appropriate and residents should be reassured that the justice system has been successful in taking action that will improve their quality of life. Our priority is to ensure residents are able to live happily in their homes and we will support that wherever possible.

“We have used the ASB powers to tackle the inconsiderate behaviour of someone who has shown a total disregard for his neighbours and has caused a significant impact in the block of flats. We want to assure the community that we have listened and reacted to the concerns they have raised and that this kind of behaviour will not be accepted.”

Northumbria Police’s Chief Inspector Dave Pickett said: “Anti-social behaviour has a huge impact on communities across the city but we know that incidents do come in peaks and troughs.

“Officers will go down the route of criminal prosecutions if it is appropriate but often there are a number of complex factors involved and a partnership approach is vital.

“We have regular meetings with the city council and Your Homes Newcastle and will often look to use civil legislation to nip the root of any disorder in the bud.

“Our officers also visit schools and colleges to speak to young people about their behaviour while we regularly support local projects looking to secure funding for diversionary programmes that keep children out of trouble.

“Closure orders and eviction notices are never a first port of call but if the anti-social behaviour is persistent, and is having a big impact on residents, then it can be an effective course of action.

“These figures show that we are not afraid to take strong action against those who terrorise the area in which they live. We are committed to working with our partners to ensure the city remains a safe and pleasant place to live.”