Police close Stratford crack house after 10 year battle
PUBLISHED: 13:12 31 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:12 31 May 2013
A crack house that has been making neighbours' lives hell for over a decade was finally closed down after brave residents spoke out.
The house at 3 Chant Square, Stratford, was linked with crime and drugs but previous attempts to close it failed because of difficulty in obtaining evidence and a fear of speaking out among the local community,
The Newham borough Problem Solving Team working with the Stratford Safer Neighbourhood Team, Newham police Crime Squad and East Thames housing association to get a Closure Order for a period of three months at Thames Magistrates Court on May 15.
The order made entering and living in the premises a criminal offence meaning officers were able to keep regular visitors away from the crack house.
Police recorded 18 people as frequent visitors at 3 Chant Square and, between them, they have a total of 634 theft convictions and 50 drug convictions.
A Newham police spokesperson said: “With the support and willingness of residents to take pride and an interest in their neighbourhood they expressed their concerns of illicit drug misuse at the address and the direct affect this had on them and others in the community from crime and disorder, noise and nuisance.
“The bravery of some residents to provide statements to police were crucial in obtaining closure.”
Four other residential addresses being used as crack houses were closed down using the same powers.
A property in St Georges Square, Forest Gate, had a previous closure order extended and the tenant was evicted by East Thames.
A house in Forest Street, Forest Gate, was closed for a second time in February - it was originally shut down in June - because the tenant returned and continued his drug abuse. He has since been evicted.
A flat in Emily Duncan House, Forest Gate, was also closed in February and the housing provider is seeking to evict the tenant.
An address in Stirling Road, Plaistow, was closed for a second time in March - it was originally shut down in April 2011 - but the tenant returned and continued his drug abuse while his visitors caused a serious nuisance in the area. The tenant has since been evicted.