ASB in Marchwood

End of the line for anti-social behaviour

Date: 14 March 2018

A Marchwood home suspected of being used as part of a 'county lines' drug dealing business, has been closed.

Sovereign Housing Association successfully secured an outright possession order from Southampton County Court after investigating complaints. Working in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, the eviction took place on Friday 9 March.

After concerns were reported to Sovereign, Helen Lovelock, Sovereign's Neighbourhood Housing Officer, arranged a visit with the Police to investigate.

They found evidence of use and supply of illegal drugs. Police further discovered the criminal activity involved transient drug dealers which soon lead to the address being identified as one of the most vulnerable addresses for heroin and crack cocaine use in the New Forest District.  

Helen said: "Our first concern was to protect our residents. A safeguarding referral brought a range of agencies together to help bring the anti-social behaviour under control and limit the risk of harm. 

"Unfortunately, despite efforts the situation didn't improve and so we decided we had to take stronger action. Police executed a search warrant and the evidence we found quickly saw the case put before the court where upon an Outright Possession Order was granted. We've now carried out the eviction and hope to see the community settle once again."

PC Adrian Woodhead from Hampshire Constabulary's Waterside neighbourhood policing team said: "We've been working actively with our partners to reduce drug related harm and anti-social behaviour in the Waterside area. 

"We will continue to target illegal drug use and work with vulnerable people to improve their lives.

"If you're affected by any of these issues, please contact me via 101."

'County lines' is a national issue where an individual, or more frequently a group, establishes and operates a telephone number in an area outside of their normal area in order to sell drugs directly to users at street level.

Given these enterprises often involve the exploitation of vulnerable people, these cases require a multi-agency response.

Sovereign will now return the home to a state suitable for letting to a new family in need of affordable housing.

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