Drug den flat closed by courts

Magistrates Court

Magistrates Court

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Neighbours have spoken of their relief after a flat used as a drugs den was slapped with an order.

Scores of complaints have been made to Preston Police in the last 12 months about a flat on Dawson Walk, close to the Police Operating Centre on Lancaster Road North.

Some residents reported they had been too afraid to go out. In some cases, the flat’s tenants, who have not been named, had reportedly been knocking on neighbours’ doors asking for cash.

Officers sought a closure order at Preston Magistrates’ Court after drugs paraphernalia was found during a raid, and presented a dossier of damning evidence from residents about people visiting the premises at all times of day on foot and on bikes.

The bench imposed a six-week closure order under anti social behaviour powers.

Resident Peter Sielski, who lives close by, said: “People in the flats have seen visitors smoking cannabis on the stairways and its a really strong smell.”

Today a spokesman for St George’s neighbourhood policing team said: “Since a misuse of drugs warrant was conducted in march there were 24 calls to police concerning people attending the address on a regular basis on foot and on pedal cycles and the residents could smell cannabis.

“The occupants were knocking on other people’s doors asking for money.

“When the warrant was executed three people were arrested and one was charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Some of the residents were scared to go out.”

Magistrates’ Courts can impose a closure order if it is satisfied a person has engaged, or is likely to engage in disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour on the premises, or the use of the premises is likely to result in serious nuisance to members of the public, or there has been, or is likely to be, disorder associated with the use of the premises.

It can last up to three months and prohibits access by all persons at all times, other than in specified exceptions.