City Council secures closure order to protect vulnerable resident from cuckooing

Published: Wednesday, 13th February 2019

Oxford City Council has secured a closure order against a property in Friars Wharf to protect a vulnerable resident from County Lines drug dealers.

Oxford City Council and Thames Valley Police worked closely to secure the order. Both organisations received reports of drug taking and other anti-social behaviour taking place at the property.

The closure order restricts anyone from entering the property, in Friars Wharf, except for the resident, support workers, police officers, City Council officers and agents working on behalf of the organisations.

The order was granted by Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 29 November 2018 and lasts for three months.

County Lines is the supply of drugs by a group from one city to another location. A common feature is the exploitation of a vulnerable person to facilitate the supply of drugs – this can be through the storage or supply of drugs, the movement of cash, or the use of the person’s dwelling (cuckooing).

In October Oxford City Council, Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council launched a joint taskforce to tackle open drug dealing and drug taking in Oxford.

The Oxford Public Spaces Drugs Taskforce was a direct response to rising concerns from Oxford residents about the amount of drug dealing and drug use taking place in public spaces. The number of discarded needles found in public places has also been increasing.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Executive Board Member for Safer and Greener Environment, said: “We all deserve to feel safe in our own home. This closure order enables Oxford City Council to protect one of our residents against exploitation and to get the support they need to rebuild their life.

“I encourage everyone to report issues directly to us around drugs and anti-social behaviour. Once a report has been made, our new Drugs Taskforce will be in contact within a few short days and again within a few short weeks to provide updates on the work that is being done. By working together, city and council, we can ensure that Oxford is a safer place to live.”