Hackney Council blasts anti-social behaviour on estate

Hackney Council has cracked down hard on a nuisance household by wielding new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour.

For the first time in the borough, Hackney Council has granted the police a “premises closure order”, which has successfully ended persistent anti-social behaviour, blighting the lives of local residents at Lucan House on the Colville Estate, N1.

The premises closure order was granted at Thames Magistrate’s court on Friday 4 September and will expire on 4 December 2009.

A property in Lucan House had become a hub for persistent drug taking, fights, loud music, noise and suspected prostitution, creating an atmosphere of threat and intimidation within this block on the Colville Estate.

Under the Premises Closure Order, the property is now secured and any person trying to get in will be committing a criminal offence. The premises closure order is a new power, brought in in 2008, as part of the Antisocial Behaviour Act (2003). It enables councils to work in partnership with police to close down a property, where residents or their friends are presenting a “serious nuisance” to the community.

Lucan House is a Newlon Housing Association flat but sits in a neighbourhood of Hackney Homes properties. Council residents had complained about this household in early June 2009. On 16 June, a drugs warrant was executed, which uncovered cannabis.

Cllr Alan Laing, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “This is a real win for us and for the neighbours and residents of Lucan House, whose lives were so badly affected by the behaviour of a small minority of people. No Hackney resident should have to live in fear because a few people are bent on creating an intolerable nuisance. We are pleased to see this threat removed from one of Hackney’s estates.”

Newlon Housing Trust has already started legal proceedings to re-possess the property. This means they are expected to take possession of the premises before the closure order expires.