Merton Council secures a partial closure order for a Mitcham flat

Merton council has secured a three month ban on visitors to a flat which had become a magnet for drug users.

The council successfully applied for a partial premises closure order, on a flat in London Road in Mitcham at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on Thursday 12 December.

The action was taken to protect residents from the intimidating behaviour carried out by large number of visitors to the privately owned flat. The property was being used by associates of the tenant to take drugs, and the visitors frequently hung around and slept in communal areas.  Residents felt intimidated by the constant smell of drug fumes and the rowdy behaviour late at night.

Four residents provided statements which formed vital evidence, and helped secure the partial closure premises order for the three month period.  The partial order means the tenant can remain in the property, but the only visitors allowed will be the landlord, managing agents, emergency services and healthcare providers. The closure order under Section 80 – Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 also allows premises to be completely closed.

Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Community Safety, Councillor Edith Macauley MBE, said:

“Residents have a right to feel safe in their own homes – no one should have to put up from such intimidating behaviour from their neighbours.

“We hope this action to ban unruly visitors to this property sends a strong message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in Merton, and that we will not hesitate to use all available powers to combat it.

“I would like to thank the residents for coming forward and providing evidence to help us secure this closure order.  We continue to work with the community, the police and our other partners to tackle all forms of anti-social behaviour.”

Compliance with the partial order will be monitored by the police and residents. Failure to comply with the order is a criminal offence which could result in imprisonment for up to three months.  Partial closure orders can be for up to three months and can be extended after this time, with evidence, for another three months.

Residents can report anti-social behaviour to Safer Merton on asbu@merton.gov.uk