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Force uses closure order on entire block of flats to tackle drugs and ASB

Court grants order so that only registered residents and support workers can enter flats

An entire block of flats is now subject to a partial closure order after Bedfordshire Police made use of the legislation for the first time.

The force has issued a partial closure order for three months on Chandos Court in Bedford after ongoing issues of drugs and anti-social behaviour for over a year, meaning that only residents, immediate family and support workers can enter.

Luton Magistrates’ Court granted a partial three-month closure order on the entire block of flats and two full closure orders on two addresses inside the tower block.

A full closure order has also been granted on an address in Richbell Court in Bedford linked to the issues in the other premises,

The team worked closely with housing association bpha and Bedford Borough Council to resolve local community concerns and apply for the closure order.

Sergeant Emma Underwood, attached to Bedford's community policing team, said: “We are extremely happy with the results from court. This is the first time we have used this power and it will make a huge difference to the residents living there.   

“This is a huge piece of work that has been ongoing for months and could only have been achieved alongside the hard work from our partners.

“We remain committed to investigating these issues and stamping out organised crime and exploitation in our community.”

Cllr Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Partnership working which brings together expertise from the council, Bedfordshire Police and bpha alongside our communities really is key in the success of these kinds of operations.

“This outcome sends a clear message that drug-related antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated in Bedford Borough and we will work with partners to ensure that we use all available powers to tackle these issues in communities to keep people safe.

“The ongoing operation is to really make a difference in this area and that residents can see and feel that difference.”  

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