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First property closure for Oxford

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Oxford City Council's Crime and Nuisance Action Team and Thames Valley Police have successfully closed a property for three months following significant anti-social behaviour at the property.

The occupants of the property, 18 Kersington Crescent, which was privately rented, have been responsible for persistent anti-social behaviour in the cul-de-sac for approximately two years.

A range of agencies have tried to work with the occupants to provide them with support and help them to change, however, this hasn't been successful.

The final option was to obtain a premises closure notice on the property meaning that the occupants will have to leave the house. The house will now be sealed up for three months to prevent any further antisocial behaviour.

A premises closure notice is a power that is not used lightly and the guidance specifically states that the Oxford City Council must have considered all other options before shutting a property. All other options have been considered before applying for this power. The property was a seat of anti-social behaviour, and just actions against each individual would not have provided a solution for community.

Councillor Bob Timbs, Board Member for Safer Communities, says: "These tenants have caused severe disturbance to their neighbours and the community.

"Without the neighbours reporting these disturbances, we would not have collected the evidence to be able to take this action.

"I hope that this will give some respite to the neighbours and that the owner of the property will consider carefully who he places in his property in the future."

Chief Inspector Cecilia Agger from Thames Valley Police, adds: "The local Police Neighbourhood team have worked closely with the Council and residents to try to reduce and manage the problems linked to this address.

"Unfortunately all other means have been unsuccessful so this closure has been obtained.

"Key to this action has been the willingness of residents to come forward to report incidents to the Police and Council thus allowing sufficient evidence to be collected. We recognise and thank these people for taking a stand."

Oxford City Council and Thames Valley Police have received over 150 calls about the property. They include incidents of fighting in the street, shouting and swearing at other residents, alleged drug dealing, and sex working.

Any person found entering the property without the explicit permission of Oxford City Council or the Police will be committing a criminal offence for which they will be arrested. On conviction they will be liable for a maximum of 26 weeks imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5000.

Residents and visitors to the area are urged to contact the Police on 0845 8 505 505 or 999 if they see anyone attempting to access the property or in the property.
 
Released on Monday 25 July 2011

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