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Neighbours from hell booted out as house closed down

A Middlesbrough house from which a six-month crime and anti-social behaviour wave happened - including soliciting for sex - has been boarded up and shut down.

Middlesbrough Council have, by working in partnership with Cleveland Police and the local community, secured a court order against 54 Princes Road - whose occupants were described as "neighbours from hell" by people who lived nearby.

The area falls under the Newport ward Selective Landlord Licensing scheme and officers from the SLL team have led on securing the order.

Teesside Magistrates Court was told that witness statements had been given by people who gave accounts of anti-social behaviour by the occupants of those living at and callers to the address, who often appeared drunk or under the influence of drugs.

The file of anonymous witness statements and emails told of behaviour which had persisted for the past six months, including:

  • One statement included a local resident being solicited for sex;
  • Banging on the front door of 54 for 20-30 minutes at all hours of the day and night;
  • Shouting out at the door for the occupants until someone answered;
  • Shouting and swearing generally; fighting with each other, which would go on for hours and mainly involved pushing, shoving, shouting and swearing;
  • Frequent callers by young men on bikes who entered the property for a short period, and who then came out and left quickly (suspected drug dealing).

All of the statement providers record how frightened and distressed they were at the behaviour going on at the address.

A statement from the police recorded that they had been called to the address on 60 separate occasions since January 2020 for allegations of anti- social behaviour at and around the address; first hand officer account that the upstairs flat was being used for prostitution; allegations of theft by persons occupying the property who did not have a tenancy or consent of the landlord to live there; first hand officer account of seeing drug paraphernalia and suspected drugs in the property.

Four statements from Middlesbrough Council Neighbourhood Safety Wardens who were called to deal with callers to the address who were arguing, swearing and threatening criminal damage or assault were also submitted.

The court order has made the address the subject of a three-month closure order.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "Once again we are showing that we won't stand by and let awful behaviour like this go unpunished.

"We've got the resources to stamp out this kind of stuff and will always do what we can to close houses like this or get orders against individuals behaving badly.

"I want to thank the police and council staff for getting this order but mainly to the public who have helped make sure it was successful."

Inspector Darren Birkett, from Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "We will not tolerate the kind of behaviour which causes misery amongst our communities and we have supported Middlesbrough Council in ensuring that the residents of the surrounding properties can now live more peacefully.

"We would always urge anyone who is suffering from antisocial behaviour to contact police on 101."

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