Police raid Norwich drugs den

Dan GrimmerPeople living near a drugs den in the city have spoken of their relief as it was finally closed down by police.Dan Grimmer

People living near a drugs den in the city have spoken of their relief as it was finally closed down by police.

Neighbours of the Union Street property said 'all sorts of people' were frequenting the property day and night and they praised the police for their actions.

The premises had been visited regularly by people involved in the use and sale of Class A drugs, mainly heroin, and police became worried about the detrimental effect on nearby neighbours.

A closure notice was served on the second floor premises on Thursday preventing anyone other than the owner from entering the property.

Rebecca Boulter, 24, lives on the first floor of the Orbit Housing block and she said she was glad the place had been closed down. She has a two-year-old son, Charlie, and she was worried he was being exposed to anti-social behaviour.

She said: 'It was obvious there was something dodgy going on because there was always weird people coming and going all the time.

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'I was starting to get worried for my son because I don't want him near anyone who is taking drugs. I am pleased the police have done something about it and relieved the flat is boarded up.'

Another man who lived on the same floor but who did not want to be named, said: 'I am really pleased the police have helped us all out. It was a nightmare and there will be a lot of people who are pleased to see an end to all this.

'No one wants people taking drugs near where they live.'

Norfolk Police have spent the past three months working with Orbit Housing Trust to clamp down on the drugs den. Subsequently after hearing evidence from police officers and local residents, magistrates yesterday agreed to close down the property for a three-month period.

This prevents anyone from remaining in the flat or entering the property without incurring a fine or custodial sentence. Orbit Housing Trust has also served an eviction notice on the tenant, preventing his return once the three-month period has passed.

In the past police have responded to several incidents at the property in relation to noise and disorder offences and drugs and drug paraphernalia have been recovered from the property following warrants in recent months.

Finally in October 2009, one of the local residents was physically assaulted by a visitor to the property.

Superintendent Nick Dean said: 'I welcome this very positive result. This robust approach to what had become a significant problem for residents and the public living in this area has meant that we can begin to restore normality and reduce the number of anti-social and crime problems associated with drug dealing.

'I hope this serves as a warning to others who choose to deal drugs in the city. We will use this approach again and I thank everyone involved in making this happen.'

Under Section 2 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, police have the powers to close premises at which Class A drugs are being used, supplied or produced and which are associated with serious nuisance and/or disorder.

On Thursday police raided another city property near Dereham Road following complaints about drug and alcohol abuse.