A crackdown on drug dealing in Thanet has resulted a ban on visitors to four properties across the district.
Between July 17 and August 11, court orders were served by Kent Police on properties in Margate Road in Ramsgate, Dundonald Road in Broadstairs and two in Millmead Road in Margate.
The closure orders were applied for at magistrates’ courts in response to concerns reported to Kent Police that the flats and houses were being used by criminals, with some being a base by visiting county lines drug dealers.
Anti-social behaviour included threats and intimidation to residents, disturbances and noise, as well as people and vehicles arriving and waiting nearby at unusual times of the day.
The orders mean that visiting the four addresses has been restricted, with only certain people agreed by the courts allowed to access or continue living at the properties.
Anyone else found at the properties risks a fine or even a prison sentence. Notices have been placed on the doors, warning that it is an offence to enter.
Officers from the Thanet Community Safety Unit, supported by partner agencies, used reports of incidents received from the communities affected to put together evidence to bring to the courts and show there was a need for the orders.
District Commander for Thanet, Chief Inspector Ed Ruffle said: “We do not underestimate the impact that drug dealing and the associated disorder can have on the lives of those who live or work nearby.
“We will continue to apply for house closures if that is the appropriate course of action, whenever a property is linked to ongoing criminal activity in an area.
“If issues return at the end of the three-month closure period, then we will show no hesitation in applying again for the same property, as we have done for the flat in Dundonald Road.
“These closure orders, coupled with the proactive work of officers to identify and arrest drug dealers, should give the strong message that Kent Police does not tolerate this unlawful behaviour.
“Residents can play their part by reporting any suspected drug-related crime in their community to Kent Police, either by calling 101 (or 999 if a crime is in progress), or via our website: https://www.kent.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/”