A SUSPECTED drugs den that was blighting the lives of neighbours has been shut down by Darlington Borough Council.

The council secured a property closure order on a house in Longfield Road after reports of suspected drug dealing at the terraced house.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court granted the property closure order on the house on Wednesday after hearing that neighbouring residents suffered nuisance and disturbance as a result of numerous people visiting the property at all hours on a daily basis.

The property has now been boarded up and is closed for three months under the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Crime and Policing Act 2014 – meaning no one can enter the house for this period and anyone who breaches this will be arrested.

Civic Enforcement Officers, part of the council’s Community Safety Team, sought the order after investigating reports of possible drug dealing and anti-social behaviour at the privately rented residence.

By granting the order it means the court was satisfied the necessary criteria, such as criminal, disorderly or offensive behaviour has, or may, take place in the house.

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Community Safety, said: “Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in Darlington, so if there is there is suspected drug-related activity or continuing anti-social behaviour from your home we could be targeting you next.

“Our Civic Enforcement Officers work very closely with officers from Durham Police and other partners in a targeted way to ensure our local communities do not have to endure anti-social behaviour and the negative impact it has on their quality of life.”

Inspector Chris Knox, of Durham Police, added: “The comings and goings from this address have had a significant, negative impact on the lives of those who live nearby and there have been incidents of violence, anti-social behaviour and suspected drug-dealing.

“The police and local authority have worked together to improve the lives of those residents affected by this address.”

Anyone with information about anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood can contact the Civic Enforcement Team on 01325 406999, email customerservices@darlington.gov.uk or call the Durham Police non-emergency number 101.