TWO houses have been closed following reports of suspected drug dealing, a paintball gun being fired and a smoke bomb.

The properties were described as “problem homes” by Stockton Borough Council, which has secured an order to close the houses in Headlam Court, Tilery.

The order means the tenants must not enter the properties and they will be inaccessible to anyone for three months.

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The properties are now boarded up and anyone who tries to enter can be prosecuted.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard details of a string of complaints including reports of a constant flow of visitors, motorbikes coming and going, fighting in the street, a paintball gun being fired at other homes, and a smoke bomb and flare being let off.

There were also reports of intimidating behaviour, urinating in the street, and an attack on one of the properties by men trying to cut through the door with a chainsaw.

Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton's cabinet member for access, communities and community safety, said: “The activities in and around these two homes has made the lives of people living nearby a misery.

The Northern Echo:

“People have an absolute right to live their lives free of any such fear and intimidation and this kind of behaviour just won’t be tolerated. I hope these closure orders will bring some peace to the neighbourhood and improve people’s quality of life.

“I'd like to thank our civic enforcement officers for their hard work and dedication to help secure the closure orders alongside the local policing team.”

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Inspector Matt Reeves from Stockton Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “We have been able to provide evidence of a number of reports of suspected crime and anti-social behaviour linked to these addresses resulting in the closure orders.

“We’d encourage anyone worried about crime where they live to report it to police on 101. This allows us to build intelligence and to take action against those responsible.”

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