Magistrates have granted Closure Orders on two Hartlepool houses following applications by community safety officials.

The multi-agency Hartlepool Community Safety Team applied for orders on 20a Lowthian Road and 77 Wilson Street following complaints about anti-social behaviour and crime, including drug dealing.

On Lowthian Road, Teesside Magistrates heard that complaints had been received about drug dealing from the property and frequent fights and arguments in the street, with golf clubs, baseball bats and iron bars being used as weapons.

Windows at the property at the house were smashed by known members of a rival drug gang, and there were reports of masked men armed with machetes, knives and metal bars visiting the house.

Both orders prevent the tenants from accessing the properties, and will remain in place for three months.

In relation to 20a Lowthian Road, the community safety team worked closely with landlord Jomast who were supportive of the closure application.

On one occasion, a car was driven at speed into Lowthian Road from York Road and driven intentionally at a man from the house.

In the case of 77 Wilson Street, the magistrates heard of frequent visits by people arriving on foot, on pedal bikes and in cars, including taxis, at all times of the day and until the early hours of the morning.

Neighbours complained of drug dealing taking place, including from an upstairs window using a tub attached to a piece of string, and frequent shouting, fighting and arguing in the street. Drug paraphernalia, including tin foil wraps, were left on the street. A baseball bat, a BB gun/air rifle, knives and a machete were present at the address.

The magistrates approved applications for costs of £1,614.22 in relation to 20a Lowthian Road and £1,977.06 in the case of 77 Wilson Street.

These are the latest of a series of property closure orders secured by the Hartlepool Community Safety Team in recent months in an attempt to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

The maximum penalty for breaching a Closure Order is six months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. Anyone who witnesses an order being breached should call Cleveland Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tony Hanson, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Executive Director of Development, Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services, said: “These properties were at the centre of some very serious drug-related crime that had a severe impact on the lives of neighbouring residents.

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“Nobody should have to put up with such criminal behaviour, and we hope that these successful applications for Closure Orders send out a strong and clear message that we are not prepared to tolerate it. People should be able to live in peace, free from fear.

Welcoming the outcome, Hartlepool Neighbourhoods Inspector Adrian Dack said: “Anyone who persistently causes misery to the law-abiding majority of residents will be dealt with.

“Cleveland Police will continue to work with our partner agencies and our local communities to address on-going anti-social behavior and crime which can so badly impact people’s quality of life. I welcome the magistrates’ decision to grant these orders and I sincerely hope this will encourage anyone similarly affected to report issues to Cleveland Police.”