Published: 15:46, 18 September 2019
| Updated: 16:13, 18 September 2019
Court orders have been placed on several council houses in an effort to crackdown on persistent drug use and anti-social behaviour.
Drug abuse, dealing, and noise at unsociable hours, has led Folkestone Magistrates' Court to shut down a flat in Croft Road, Ashford and impose partial closures on two others in the town.
Doors and windows have been boarded-up at the ground floor flat to prevent unauthorised entry to the property for a duration of three months.
Ashford Borough Council (ABC) applied for a full closure of the one-bedroom property as the tenant had been involved in illegal activities.
Court orders have also been imposed on another council-owned property in Croft Road, as well as a house in Kenbrook, Kennington.
The partial closure of the two properties means no-one, apart from the tenants, council staff, health care professionals, and police officers, can enter the premises until Wednesday, December 11.
It marks the first time that ABC has brought three cases, under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, to court on the same day.
"These three properties have been the root of persistent problems and nuisance to residents with people visiting at all hours, drug dealing, littering and causing noise and intimidation" - Cllr Bill Barrett
Council officers have been working closely with police and neighbours in a bid to tackle persistent problems associated with these properties, leading to the court hearing in Folkestone.
Cllr Bill Barrett, portfolio holder for housing at ABC, said: "This underlines that we have a zero tolerance approach towards this sort of behaviour.
“These three properties have been the root of persistent problems and nuisance to residents with people visiting at all hours, drug dealing, littering and causing noise and intimidation.
“These issues make people’s lives a misery and we hope the work undertaken to gather a case for these orders will reassure our communities that we do not tolerate it and we will respond with appropriate action.
“If you are affected by the illegal activities of another resident resulting in anti-social behaviour, then I urge you not to suffer in silence."
Inspector Jason Atkinson added: “We hope this improves life for the residents who have felt the negative effects of this anti-social behaviour.
"This enforcement action was to tackle drug dealing issues and the negative impact it has on communities and individuals.
“Kent Police and ABC work hard to ensure the safety of local communities and protect those who are vulnerable.
"I hope these closure orders empower the public to let the local authority and police know what is going on in their neighbourhoods.”