Police shut down Ramsgate property over antisocial behaviour and drug complaints

Closure order at the Addington Street property Image Kent Police

Kent Police has closed down a property in Ramsgate linked to anti-social behaviour.

Officers from the Thanet Community Safety Unit applied to Margate Magistrates’ Court for a closure order for the rented flat in Addington Street, which was approved on Monday, February 7.

The order, made under Section 80 of the Anti-Social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014, was served on the property on Wednesday 9 February and will remain in place for three months. It prohibits anyone from accessing the flat during that time or they risk arrest.

Police applied for the order after residents raised concerns regarding regular anti-social behaviour in the area. Reports were received of drug dealing at the property, criminal damage, noise and alcohol-related disorder, with people coming and going from the address at all hours of the day.

Residents alleged that if they tried to challenge the behaviour, they were subjected to threats of violence, and often the incidents would spill out into the communal areas of the building.

Anti-Social Behaviour Officer PC Ben Cadge, who works in Thanet’s Community Safety Unit, said: “The tenant was described as a real nuisance neighbour, people felt intimidated trying to access their own homes and the anti-social behaviour and ongoing noise was particularly upsetting for those with children.

“The tenant had been warned previously about the impact the actions of those at the property were having on the surrounding community and was given opportunities to rectify the situation.

“However it is not acceptable for anyone to have to put up with these issues, it was clear to us that they were significant and ongoing, therefore the closure order was the most appropriate course of action.”

Residents in the street had been dealing with the issues for a number of years.

In 2020 The Isle of Thanet News reported their call for action, saying their lives were being blighted by drug dealing and antisocial behaviour related to the property.

They said complaints of overpowering heroin fumes, a string of addicts coming in and out, intimidation and suspected cuckooing of a young man who then died of a drugs overdose had not resulted in the property being shut down.

PC Cadge urged any residents who find themselves in similar situations regarding anti-social behaviour to report it to Kent Police on 101 (999 if a crime is in progress) or via the Kent Police website.

He added: “We are committed to working with Thanet District Council and other partners to tackle anti-social behaviour in the district and we ask people not to suffer in silence but report it so action can be taken.”

Cllr Becky Wing, who represents residents at district council, said: “It is really tragic that it has come to this but there was no other option given the tenant had utterly failed to respond positively to several years of warnings and support.

“I have lived in the area since 2012 and have been well aware of the serious issues of Anti-Social Behaviour the community, residents close by and other tenants have had to put up with, at all hours of the day and night.

“No one wants to see anyone lose their home but all any of us want is live peacefully and get on with our neighbours and there is a real sense of community and looking out for each other in this area and especially on Addington Street itself, which is now thriving.

“I am thankful that now, those most affected can finally have some peace and quiet, be able to go about their daily lives without fear and of course not finding used needles on the street and in the back alleys will be a bonus.

“I hope the ex-tenant will now seek help and work towards making better decisions to change their life around. Apart from this very ‘visible’ cost of illegal drugs in our communities there is a more ‘invisible’ network and system of exploitation that not only blights our communities but also the lives of those involved, most of whom are exploited due to vulnerabilities. Community policing and funding to support those with addictions needs to be drastically increased if we are ever to really get on top of this issue and how it affects so many either directly or indirectly.

“The police and landlord, Thanet District Council, really did do all they can to avoid this situation but in the end the Police had to act and they did.”

Ramsgate residents demand action over ‘blight’ of continued drug dealing in their street