City Council secures closure order to protect vulnerable resident from drug users

Published: Tuesday, 22nd May 2018

Oxford City Council has secured a closure order against a property in Littlemore to protect a vulnerable resident from cuckooing by drug users.

The closure order restricts anyone from entering the property, in Alice Smith Square, 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 (17/5) and lasts for three months.

The resident, an Oxford City Council tenant, was being cuckooed by local drug users. Cuckooing is a practice where criminals take over an individual’s home and, against the will of the resident, use the property for criminal activity.

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.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Executive Board Member for Safer and Greener Environment, said: “This case sadly shows the crossovers between modern-day slavery and the calculated exploitation of very vulnerable people.

“The Council and the Police are days away from launching our new drugs taskforce, set up to end all drugs slavery in our city, and this case shows why we need that extra investment.

“For a long time this Council has been tackling drugs slavery with closure orders and injunctions and, as part of the new taskforce, we are funding two community police officers to partner a dedicated police officer and problem-solving officer.

“Together these officers will ensure that every vulnerable person can be found, stops being exploited, and gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.”