Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Council and police move to close down Armley crack house for second time

Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police are applying to close a crack house in Armley that was raided on Sunday.

The moves comes after complaints from neighbours that they were being plagued by drug-related anti-social behaviour at 54 First Avenue in Armley led to a search warrant being executed yesterday and the premises closed.

Yesterday an application was made by the council, the police and West North West Homes Leeds (WNWHL) at Leeds Magistrates Court for closure of the property, under Section 2 of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. The case was adjourned for two weeks.

If granted the property will remain closed for a period of three months during which time WNWHL, one of the three Arms Length Management Organisations that manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council, will apply for possession of the property.

On 21st December 2009 a search warrant was executed at the same address, which is a WNWHL property. Two women are currently on bail for drug offences relating to the raid.

Since the warrant, local residents have reported anti-social behaviour around the property with drug users abusing residents, an increase in burglaries in the area and drug users mixing with parents and children at the nearby Castleton Primary school. Used needles have been discarded onto the school playing fields, presenting a serious health risk to children. The pathways leading to 54 First Avenue have also become littered with rubbish and discarded drug paraphernalia, un-capped syringes, citric acid packets and burnt foil.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for community safety and chair of Safer Leeds, said:
“We have already had cause to close this address down before and I’m sorry to see the message has not got through.
“What has been going on at First Avenue is unacceptable and we will take whatever action we need to address it.
“Hopefully this will put an end to the problem behaviour at this property.”

Sergeant John Glennon from the West Yorkshire Police's North West Division said:
“The police along with Leeds City Council have acted on the concerns raised by the local community, and are determined to act positively in respect of premises that are the cause of anti-social behaviour within our communities.”

Notes to editors:
Safer Leeds is the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) dedicated to tackling drugs and crime in the city. It is a partnership between a number of local agencies including Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, NHS Leeds, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and West Yorkshire Police Authority.

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council Press Office (0113) 224 3937
e-mail michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk