Latest drug house closed

THE latest in a series of houses targeted under new rules to tackle drug dealing is today closed for business.The house, in Briarhayes Close, Ipswich, has been made the subject of a closure order after police applied to magistrates.

THE latest in a series of houses targeted under new rules to tackle drug dealing is today closed for business.

The house, in Briarhayes Close, Ipswich, has been made the subject of a closure order after police applied to magistrates.

Magistrates in Ipswich were told the house had been used by a couple who dealt in Class A drugs for the last six months.

Wherry Housing Association own the house, and it was leased to Samantha Nicholls who lived there with her boyfriend Gavin Friston.


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But after hearing evidence from nearby residents about signs of dealing from the house and frequent visitors throughout the day and night a closure order for three months was applied for.

The closure application is made under the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 and this closure was the fourth to take place in Suffolk.

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Police have welcomed the new legislation, which means they can act swiftly to close a house whether it is leased to tenants or owned privately.

Inspector Darrin Tompkins of Ipswich Police told the court evidence of dealing had been gathered after speaking to residents of Briarhayes Close and a raid on the house had discovered a wide range of drug taking paraphernalia.

The court was told there had been reports of loud arguments in the street amongst drugs customers and that Friston had been seen in the street waving a samurai sword.

It was also reported conversations had been overheard which it was believed were held to deliberately intimidate neighbours.

Inspector Tompkins said: "There was animated conversations relating to shot guns designed to cause concern to the neighbours."

Magistrates agreed to the application and a closure notice lasting for the next three months was immediately served.

Speaking after the hearing, Insp Tompkins said he welcomed the new powers which enabled police to close houses.

"I am delighted for the residents, it will bring an end to the alarm and distress they have experienced over the last six months."

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