A DRUGS den which has caused misery for residents in a quiet cul-de-sac for over a year has been shut down by police – and the occupants evicted.

Darlington Police said the home, in Spencer Grove, off Geneva Crescent in the town, had been “closed and the occupants of the address have been evicted”.

In a joint move with police, solicitors and information from the local community, the occupant, who owned the home, was forced out using powers under antisocial behaviour laws.

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Police can evict nuisance tenants from properties by working with landlords or social housing providers and on intelligence from the community, but it is unusual for a homeowner to be forced out.

It is understood there was also some question over whether there was joint ownership of the property, which is why solicitors were involved.

Locals had been asked to log incidents over more than a year as they lived with noise and comings and goings at all hours of the day and night.

Police had raided the house earlier in the year and cautioned a man over possession of a Class A drug, believed to be heroin. But the property continued to be used as a drugs den.

PC Jeff Summerhill, of Darlington Police, said: “It is a small residential cul-de-sac and people were coming and going through the day and night, on foot, on bikes, in cars, and there was all sorts of activity all hours.

“We don’t act on information the first time someone rings up but we ask them to keep calling in so that we can build up an intelligence picture which allows us to act further down the line.

“We asked locals to keep reporting it to us and were eventually able to act using anti social behaviour powers.

“On Friday this man handed the keys back after we went to court to get an eviction notice, using all the information we had put together.”