A PROBLEM property at the centre of complaints and anti-social behaviour has been shut down.

Darlington Borough Council secured a property closure order on 7 Alston Moor Close, Firth Moor today (Friday), following complaints of anti-social behaviour and alleged criminal activity.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court granted the order after hearing that the tenant has been linked to drug-related activity and anti-social behaviour over several months. The occupant was also found to be in possession of Class A drugs after a police warrant in January.

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.

The council's tenancy enforcement officer and neighbourhood police team sought the order after investigating reports of possible drug dealing and anti-social behaviour, at the council property.

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.

Deputy Leader of the Darlington Borough Council, Jonathan Dulston, said: “The tenant living in the house showed complete disregard towards neighbours and the ongoing issue was a blight on the community. Our housing team take complaints seriously and we won’t hesitate to do what we have to in order to protect people who deserve to live in peace. We hope this offers residents’ respite.

“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in Darlington. We work closely with officers from Durham Constabulary to ensure our local communities do not have to endure anti-social behaviour and the negative impact it has on their quality of life.”

Sergeant Daniel Lake, from Darlington Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have responded to a number of community complaints at this location and worked closely with the council to tackle these issues. We are pleased with today’s decision, although it’s not a power we use lightly, we hope that these actions will give the community the confidence and reassurance that we will continue to address the issues which are affecting them.”

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 Constabulary non-emergency number 101.