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Nightmare neighbour moved on for good

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A photo of the house in Boswell Street

A nightmare neighbour has been moved on for good after a street was plagued around the clock by drug dealing and loud house parties.

Middlesbrough Council in partnership with Cleveland Police has secured a three-month closure order at Teesside Magistrates Court against the property on Boswell Street in Central Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston, local ward councillors and Chief Inspector Darren Birkett from Cleveland Police today welcomed the action.

The tenant has removed all her belongings from the property, it has been boarded up and she will not be returning after the private landlord obtained a possession order to terminate the tenancy.

The same property was previously subject of a closure order in December last year. However on that occasion the landlord had not secured a possession order and the tenant returned.

The Council do not have the power to keep a person out of a property when a Closure Order expires. It is the responsibility of the landlord to seek a Possession Order which enables them to terminate the tenancy of their tenant.

Fortunately Middlesbrough Council’s Neighbourhood Safety team, Cleveland Police’s Neighbourhood Policing team, local ward councillors and local residents worked together to secure a new order within three weeks.

During the closure order hearing the court heard there had been 59 reports of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour between April 4 and April 27 while the tenant was back in the property.

Complaints had included queues of people waiting for drugs, music blasting, loud foul language and fighting in the street at all hours of the day and night.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “I’m really pleased that this action has been taken and hopefully the good people on Boswell Street can go back to normal lives without having to live constantly on edge because of what was going on at this house.

“I want to praise the council staff, the police and those neighbours who all contributed to getting this second order sorted. It’s infuriating that the woman was able to move back in but hopefully this latest order mean it’s sorted for good.”

In a statement Middlesbrough’s Central Ward councillors Matthew Storey, Linda Lewis and Zafar Uddin said: “This is great news for the residents of Boswell Street and the surrounding area. As Ward Councillors we have taken this up on behalf of residents many times in the past and this action will be a big relief to the whole community. Nobody should feel unsafe in their own home or on their own street and this will massively improve the quality of life for everyone in the locality. Thanks to the Police and our amazing Council Community Safety Officers for their hard work.”

Chief Inspector Darren Birkett from Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We will always look to take action wherever possible where people are making others’ lives a misery. At this address we have twice secured closure orders and we’d like to thank the local community for their help and support in coming forward with information. Anyone who suffers antisocial behaviour or crime like this can contact us on 101, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”