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You are here: News » Depot for Class A Drugs in Student Area
Published 13th May 2012
A property in Park Barn, Guildford, a popular student residential area, was found to be connected with the production and supply of a Class A drug.
Surrey Police have obtained a closure order on a property in Guildford after a warrant to search the property found evidence of drug use and supply at the address.
The closure notice comes due to concerns raised by local residents, who at a local panel meeting on April 11, voted that tackling drug related problems was to be a neighbourhood policing priority.
The closure notice was served under the Antisocial Behaviour Act for the address, 16 Southway Court, Park Barn, and put before South West Magistrates Court by Surrey Police and Guildford Borough Council.
Evidence was produced to suggest the property was connected to the unlawful use, supply and production of Class A drugs.
On April 19, a search warrant was executed and found traces of Cocaine inside a microwave and on the entry phone at the address. There were also traces of the drug Paraphernalia and a list, detailing names of people with amounts of money next to them, which is supposed a dealer list.
There was also further evidence of drugs related anti-social behaviour.
In the eighteen months since the tenants entered the property, there have been two incidents involving firearms and a stabbing recorded at the address.
One incident on January 12, involved two men in balaclavas approaching the property with air rifles. There was significant damage done to the property and the police firearms team were called out, however, the two men responsible had fled the scene.
Other police calls to the property included an allegation of domestic violence in March, shots being fired from a BB gun and a car window being smashed.
The property has already been boarded up as a result of the notification, with the public told the closure is to protect the neighbourhood. The order came in to force with immediate effect and the property will be sealed for three months.
It is also in the process of being repossessed by Guildford Borough Council.
The tenants, Stephanie Machay and Robert Whittaker, must also pay £250 each in costs.
Anyone seen entering the property whilst the order is still enforced will be arrested, and could face a fine or a custodial sentence.
Local residents had previously raised concerns over the way the property was being used with some residents claiming they were too scared to leave their homes.
One student living only a few houses away on Applegarth Avenue told the stag: “I walk past this flat every day on my way to campus; it’s pretty scary to think that something like this was happening on our doorstep.
“I remember seeing police being called out on a number of occasions, but I didn’t think much of it at the time though. “
The Park Barn Neighbourhood Officer PC Grant Darbey told a district judge on April 24 that he would sometimes see up to 30 people visiting the address in one day.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Steve Hill said: “Local residents have suffered serious nuisance, including noise and aggressive behaviour, associated with this property and I hope the community will benefit from the closure order served on the address. I hope now there can be a return to the environment which these people had enjoyed within their locality.
“The purpose of the notice is not only to help the community affected by the persistent behaviour but to offer support to those involved and help them permanently change their behaviour.
“I hope this order will send out the message anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated by Surrey Police and we will seek powers such as using the Hearsay Act which was used by residents to give evidence anonymously to bring offenders to justice and keeping Surrey a nice place to live and visit.”
Lead Councillor for Housing and Social Care at Guildford Borough Council, Cllr Sarah Creedy said: “This action demonstrates that behaviour of this nature will not be tolerated within our communities. We will continue to work closely with police and neighbourhood teams to stamp out this sort of activity which blights the lives of some residents. ”
Surrey Police have urged anyone who has information on illegal drug activity or anti-social behaviour in their area to contact their Surrey Police Safer Neighbourhood Team by calling 101 or Guildford Borough Council on 01483 505050.