Magistrates have adjourned a case considering whether to extend an anti-social behaviour closure notice served on a Boston flat to appear before a District Judge next Thursday.
The tenant of Flat 2A, on Duke Street, Leon Holden was in the court room for the hearing about the property today (Friday).
Magistrates were told by Lincolnshire Police solicitor Matt Green that Mr Holden wished to contest the notice, which forbids anyone apart from himself as the tenant from entering the property.
Mr Green said Mr Holden had tried to access a Duty Solicitor but had been told that was not possible. However, he had been told he would be eligible for legal aid and was looking to get that.
He asked magistrates to adjourn the case, which it was said would require two hours.
Magistrates agreed and said the notice would be sent to Lincoln Magistrates’ Court next Thursday (August 24) at 2pm.
An anti-social behaviour closure notice applies to properties, not people, and gives police and local councils the power to temporarily close a premises that is causing a nuisance to members of the public.
The order makes it an offence for anyone (other than those specified) to remain or enter the premises and failure to comply with that can amount to an offence which is punishable by a maximum of three months’ imprisonment or a fine or both.
Lincolnshire Police ASB co-orinator PC Simon Oswin and Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant Callum Scott, supported by Mayflower Housing, served the notice on the residential flat yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.
In a statement issued following the notice, the force said there had been 20 incident reports made regarding the premises including allegations of drug misuse, ASB, suspicious behaviour and violence.
The officers have applied to the court to have the order extended and if magistrates agree the premises could be closed for a period of up to three months.
In the statement from Lincolnshire Police yesterday Sue Sendall from Boston Mayflower said; “The conduct has had a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of neighbours and the local community.
“After a catalogue of anti-social behaviour incidents, we are delighted that Lincolnshire Police have executed this closure order, which we have fully supported.
“Many neighbours were often too afraid of reprisals to come forward as witnesses, so we would like to convey our gratitude to all the witnesses who bravely came forward to take a stand against the anti-social behaviour where they live. Their reports were vital in allowing us and the police to take action.
“This closure order demonstrates the continued partnership working between Lincolnshire Police and Boston Mayflower Ltd and their joint commitment to protect people from harm by working for the benefit of the whole community.”
Sgt Callum Scott said; “Boston Neighbourhood Policing Team act robustly when the quality of life of local residents is affected by the thoughtless actions of others, we work closely with our partner agencies to tackle this kind of behaviour swiftly and effectively, this closure order demonstrates quite clearly that anti-social and nuisance behaviour will not be tolerated in our community.”
Chief Inspector Deb Clark said; “The role of the Neighbourhood Policing Team is to identify opportunities for assistance, education, intervention and problem solving with an overall aim to achieve a safe and secure community, through working with our partners. Anti-social behaviour and incidents of this nature which impact on other residents and affect quality of life will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly by my team.
“The use of this power (closure notice) on this occasion demonstrates our stance on issues of this nature. This positive action will provide immediate respite to the local community suffering from misery caused by anti-social neighbours whilst providing a means with which to engage perpetrator(s) and tackle the underlying causes and put an end to the nuisance behaviour.
“Persistent serious anti-social behaviour has a negative impact on community life and regeneration, so it is essential that support interventions are used with enforcement measures, and that the problem is tackled holistically rather than by simply shifting the burden elsewhere.
“These powers provide a catalyst for a multi-agency approach to tackle the underlying behaviour and ensuring perpetrator(s) accept offers of support designed to permanently change their behaviour. On this occasion we have worked successfully with Boston Mayflower in regards of this issue and will continue to do so in the future. I encourage members of the public to come forward and report any incidents of anti-social behaviour to the police or to make contact with the local Neighbourhood Policing Team to discuss any issues of concern.”
Anyone wishing to report a crime can call Lincolnshire Police non-emergency number 101 or 999 in an emergency.