Drug house had FIFTY visits a day

A court has banned anyone from visiting a house in the borough which was receiving up to 50 'drug-related' visitors a day.

Wednesday, 14th November 2018, 1:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th November 2018, 3:04 pm
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

At Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, justices imposed a closure order at 15 Wilkinson Street, Leigh, after hearing details of drugs activity and rife anti-social behaviour connected to it.

The hearing was told that there had been problems there for years but neighbours had been too frightened to report them.

The property cannot be entered by anybody other than the registered tenants following the issuing of the order.

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Wigan Council was granted the three-month restriction after giving details of activity reported to have been witnessed at the house.

The court heard that the “use of the premises was likely to cause nuisance to the public” and that anti-social behaviour was another significant issue.

A high volume of around 50 people per day were seen visiting the address for “drug-related activity,” said Tracy Jones, anti-social behaviour officer for the local authority.

Needles and other drugs paraphernalia were also found discarded at the rear of the property, and “fighting and other loud noises” were frequently heard coming from inside the house.

The behaviour had had a considerable impact on the community, and was “frightening and intimidating” to neighbours, the court was told.

It was revealed that the issues had been ongoing for several years, but that until recently, residents had been too scared to complain, for fear they might be identified and face repercussions.

Ms Jones added that the activity at the house was “clearly having a substantial impact on the community” and that the council had safeguarding issues for local people.

Chairman of the bench, Mr Patterson expressed concern about the time it had taken for the closure order to be sought, saying: “I would like to know how long these people have suffered before the council did anything?”

Ms Jones explained that a lack of information from residents had delayed the action to request the closure order, and that such investigations were dependent on residents’ cooperation.

Justices granted the order and requested that the council feed back information on such procedures to residents and local councillors.