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Drugs haunt is boarded up

A house in Gosport has been boarded up after a court heard how anti-social behaviour and drug activity was increasingly making neighbours' lives a misery.

Portsmouth Magistrates Court agreed the three-bedroomed council house in Parklands Close could be sealed after an application for a closure order was made by Gosport Borough Council, working with Hampshire Constabulary.

The order bans entry for three months, and anyone disobeying it can be fined and/or jailed.

Cllr Tony Jessop, who chairs the council's Housing Board, said: "We asked the court for this order to protect people living in the area from an ongoing risk of drug-related crime, nuisance and disorder, which has been causing them distress and anxiety.

"Council and police officers have had reports of drugs being used at the house, suspected drug-users there day and night, and increasing amounts of nuisance and disorder. Officers have also witnessed anti-social behaviour first-hand.

"Many visitors are at the address for only short periods, and discarded drug-users' paraphernalia has been seen in the immediate area.

"There have also been allegations of violent behaviour, dog-related nuisance and breaches of Covid regulations.

"We hope this closure order will give neighbours some peace and allow them to have some enjoyment of their homes and gardens. We're seeking to evict the tenant permanently, as soon as possible."

Inspector Matt Wake, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: "Tackling drug-related harm is a priority for police in Gosport, and there are a number of tactics we can use to remove any available opportunity for drug suppliers.

"It was clear that this property was a regular haunt for those involved in the drugs trade, and it was important for police and partners to ensure this was disrupted to protect local people.

"The associated anti-social behaviour connected to this property was also having a significant negative impact on the lives of residents.

"We hope this result reassures the public that in addition to targeting the drugs trade, we also take reports of persistent anti-social behaviour seriously and will use everything in our power to protect our communities from this type of nuisance."

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