Posted 24/06/2022

Swan ASB team tackles illegal drug activity

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) taking place at a property can cause significant disturbance and distress to the surrounding neighbours. Swan’s team of dedicated officers are committed to tackling ASB in the communities where we work so that everyone can have somewhere to feel at home. The following case study explains how one of our solutions-focused officers tackled a complex drugs-related case in Basildon.

Swan Anti-Social Behaviour Officer, Shaun de Souza Brady, began to receive reports of drug use and dealing taking place at one of our properties in July 2021. Multiple nearby neighbours reported significant noise disturbances, associated with the activity, warranting an investigation.

By September, visitors were frequenting the property into the early hours of the morning and there were also signs of a petrol stealing and selling operation being run from it too. The police had carried out a welfare check on the tenant but found no evidence of drug dealing or the illegal selling of petrol, therefore enforcement action against the property had to be taken by Swan.

Anti-Social Behaviour Officer, Shaun de Souza Brady, diligently began collecting statements and available evidence as well as researching the tenants background to see if they had support needs and to build a case. This enabled him to identify those who were using the property for drug dealing.

Working with Swan partners through a local forum, Shaun also discovered that the tenant had support needs but had not been engaging with support services and was also in breach of bail conditions.

In October last year, Swan was instructed by Basildon County Court to exclude all visitors from the property and to remove any motorcycle or petrol, while also delivering a level of protection for local residents. In the meantime, the police had gained sufficient evidence via the Swan investigation to secure a warrant and together they served the injunction on the tenant.

The injunction secured by Swan was immediately breached three times resulting in the tenant appearing in court. They were remanded on conditional bail to appear in court later that month but failed to appear.

An order was then made to exclude the tenant from the property and they received a six week suspended prison sentence for the breaches that he had already committed.

Police attended the property with Shaun the next morning to serve the injunction to exclude the tenant from the property, but they did not answer the door. Therefore, Shaun undertook covert surveillance of the property until they saw the tenant leave later that day. At this point the tenant promised to return to gather his possessions and vacate the property within one hour. The police waited with Shaun but the tenant did not reappear. It was not until later that day Swan received a report that the tenant had returned to the property with a friend. Shaun, with another Swan Officer, was able to return to the property and get them to agree to leave so that the locks could be changed to secure the property.

Shaun has received five messages of thanks from residents who had been affected by the ASB at the property, demonstrating the importance of the work Shaun and his team do to improve lives and communities where we work.

Shaun said: “This was an extremely challenging and time-consuming piece of work and the injunction that was secured was unprecedented in its range. This work links with other operations targeting the drug/gang activity that will make our communities safer places to live.”

The next stage of this case is applying for mandatory grounds for possession based on the conviction for breaching previous injunctions.