Swan ASB team tackles illegal drug activity
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) taking place at a property can cause significant nuisance and annoyance to residents living nearby. Swan’s Neighbourhood team are committed to tackling ASB in our communities. The following case study explains how one of Swan’s ASB Officer’s tackled a complex drugs-related case in Basildon.
ASB Officer Shaun de Souza Brady began to receive reports of drug use and drug dealing taking place in one of our properties in July 2021. Multiple residents living nearby reported significant noise disturbances associated with the activity, so an ASB case was opened.
By September 2021, there were reports of numerous visitors frequenting the property into the early hours of the morning and that petrol stealing and selling criminality was happening at the property. Essex Police conducted a welfare check on the tenant but found no evidence of drug dealing or any stolen petrol, therefore any enforcement action against him had to be taken by Swan.
Swan's ASB Officer began compiling evidence and obtaining witness statements, as well as researching the tenant’s background and housing file, to see if they had any support needs.
Working with external agencies through a fully-established local partnership forum, our ASB Officer discovered that the tenant had additional support needs but that they had not been engaging with support services. The tenant was subsequently in breach of his Probation License conditions.
In October last year, Swan obtained an injunction Order at Basildon County Court to exclude all visitors from the property and to remove any motorcycles or petrol, while also providing a level of protection for local residents. Swan worked with Basildon Police to jointly serve the injunction on our tenant.
The Injunction was immediately breached three times resulting in our tenant being arrested and presented at Court. The judge remanded our tenant on conditional bail to appear in court later that month, however he failed to appear.
Swan subsequently applied for the Injunction Order to include an additional term, excluding our tenant from the property, which the judge agreed. The judge further ordered that our tenant should receive a six-week suspended prison sentence for the breaches that he had already committed.
Swan's ASB Officer and Basildon Police worked together to ensure that the tenant understood the terms of the Injunction Order exclusion clause, vacated the property and that he took all necessary belongings with him to avoid any future breaches from occurring.
Five messages of thanks were received from residents who had been affected by the ASB, demonstrating the importance of the work our Neighbourhood team, including our ASB Officers such as Shaun, do to improve the lives and communities for our residents.
Shaun said: “This was an extremely challenging and time-consuming case, however, the Injunction Order I worked hard to obtain enabled both Swan and the police to further strengthen our partnership working, and subsequently tackle other operations ongoing to target drug/gang activity affecting our communities to strive to make them a safer place to live.”
Shaun has since applied for possession on mandatory grounds based on the breaches of the injunction and is currently awaiting a court date for this hearing.
If you need to contact Swan to discuss anti-social behaviour involving a Swan customer, please email ASB@swan.org.uk or contact the Neighbourhood team on 0300 303 2500.