Lambeth leads the way in new anti-social behaviour powers, quashing squatters and removing ravers

Ref. Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Lambeth Borough Council have already made good use of their new powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 which came into force last October. In doing so, they have closed down seven properties in just three months.

The Council have commented that its enforcement officers, working with London’s Metropolitan Police, had issued seven Premises Closure Notices in all. Three have already led to full orders through the courts.

The powers were originally outlined under Part 1A of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, which sets out provisions relating to the issue of closure notices, and the making of closure orders in respect of premises that cause significant and persistent disorder, or persistent serious nuisance to a community.  Part 1A of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 has now been replaced by Part 4, Chapter 3 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which came into force on 20th October 2014.

The properties in this instance included a brothel, an illegal rave venue and a drugs den. The brothel in St Leonard’s has now been closed for the maximum three months.

Notices were served on the other four premises after squatters broke into an empty premise, a stabbing took place at a club, a pre-planned illegal rave was held in a squatted premises, and stolen goods were found at an off license.

Part 4, Chapter 3 of the Act states that a person who then remains on or enters premises in contravention of a Part 1A closure notice commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment of a period not exceeding 51 weeks and a fine not exceeding level 5 of the standard scale.

Lambeth also said it had secured a Community Behaviour Order within a week of the 2014 Act coming into force. This was against a prolific beggar and street drinker.

Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Lambeth cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, said:

“It’s important for our officers to be able to act in this way to protect our residents. 

“People want to live in a safe and secure environment and when they feel threatened or intimidated, we will act to put a stop to any anti-social behaviour.”

Chief Inspector Roy Smith, from Local Policing, said:

“This demonstrates the strength of partnership working and will reassure local communities that Lambeth Police and Lambeth Council are leading the country in our adoption of the new ASB legislation and will continue to use all tools at our disposal to make Lambeth safe for those who live, work and visit the borough.”

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SJ                                                                                                                                      10.02.15

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