Flat order closure in St Matthews Street is latest sign of police crackdown on crime
PUBLISHED: 12:22 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 21 December 2017
An Ipswich town centre flat has been boarded up by police and the tenant has been evicted after concerns over drugs-related activity were raised.
South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich has granted a three-month closure order at a flat in St Matthews Street after Suffolk Constabulary, supported by Ipswich Borough Council (IBC), applied for the order to help combat alleged criminal behaviour and disorder, including alleged drug dealing with links to London.
The tenant has been evicted and the IBC property has been boarded up for three months.
Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Pc Danny Thompson, who works in the multi-agency anti-social behaviour team based at IBC, said rising numbers of closure orders being made in the town this year show police are closing the net on criminal behaviour, including drug-related incidents.
He said: “The frequency of the closure orders is increasing and has done so this year. It is due to the fact that we are targeting closure orders more so than in the past. We are using anti-social behaviour legislation for the closure orders and using that as a tool to close properties down.
“It’s not the complete answer to solving Class A drug dealing in Ipswich, but it makes the drug dealers’ ability to deal more difficult because they won’t be able to use this property and others as a base to deal drugs from. There is always a chance they will go somewhere else and the likelihood is that they will, but we will just try to catch them at the next place as well.
“People from the London area are coming to Ipswich to deal drugs. It’s becoming more common. However, London drug-dealers are a problem in all counties around London.
“Hopefully your readers will see that if the police are taking positive action such as this, then they should be reassured that we are taking steps to try and solve the problem of Class A drug dealing.”
He said he expects IBC to retake possession of the property when the order expires.
• Three people, including one from London, have been charged for drugs-related offences after an incident at the flat in September.
• Two people, including one from London, have been arrested and released under investigation after a separate drugs-related incident at the flat in October.