First Closure Order in Arun after repeated Anti-Social Behaviour

An Arun District Council tenant has been stopped from entering or using their home in Bognor Regis following repeated incidents of disorderly, offensive and criminal behaviour causing a nuisance to local residents.

This is the first time a Closure Order has been utilised in Arun, under the new powers of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Council officers boarded up the property in Ash Grove, Bognor Regis on Friday, 5 June, with support from Sussex Police, to stop it being used for a period of three months, after obtaining a Closure Order from Chichester Magistrates Court.

Action was taken by Arun District Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team and Sussex Police, before a serious incident occurred at the address.

Repeated attempts were taken by the various public organisations to resolve these issues for the local residents before final agreement with relevant agencies for Arun to authorise the application of the Closure Notice and seeking a Closure Order from the Courts. As previous offers of support and restrictions by a number of the agencies had not managed to deter the behaviour it was decided that robust action was required to restore the peace in the neighbourhood and by preventing anyone from entering the property.

Councillor Paul Wotherspoon, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Arun District Council, said: “We hope this action shows that we listen to, and respond to residents’ concerns about disorderly, offensive and criminal activities.”

Inspector Marc Clothier, from Sussex police, said: “This order was applied for by colleagues from Arun District Council who have been working alongside the Neighbourhood Policing team to resolve the anti-social and criminal behaviour which has been taking place at this property. The impact of this behaviour has been detrimental to the local community and working in partnership we have utilised a range of tactics to try and tackle this issue. This is the first time a closure order under the new legislation has been utilised in Sussex and it is a tool which needs careful consideration but in these circumstances we believe it is justified and will not only improve the quality of life for the local community but also send a strong message to others that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Arun District Council’s Community Safety Manager, Georgina Bouette, said: “This case demonstrates what can be achieved by working in partnership with our colleagues at Sussex Police and the Children’s Social Care at West Sussex County Council and that we take very seriously complaints from members of the public about such serious behaviour, and we urge residents to speak out and report anti-social behaviour, drug-dealing and other criminal activities.”