THE use of closure orders to tackle anti-social behaviour and nuisance residents in BCP has increased year-on-year since 2017.

BCP Council successfully secured 13 closure orders last year for separate addresses across the conurbation.

This figure has risen over the past four years with no orders sought in 2017, eight requested in 2018 and 10 applied for in 2019.

Over this period, the council was successful with all its closure order applications.

The sanctions, which are imposed by magistrates' courts, allow local authorities and police to close down a premises.

The orders can last for up to three months before the council must go back to the court if they want to prolong the closure.

Many recent cases in the BCP area have involved noisy residents or properties concerned in suspected drug activity.

Councillor May Haines, BCP Council portfolio holder for community safety, said: “BCP Council is committed to keeping our communities safe.

"Our anti-social behaviour (ASB) teams listen to, and act upon concerns raised by our residents where needed. Closure orders have increased as the ASB team have become more experienced in using this tool to deal with issues, many of which relate to the use of illegal drugs.

"The impact is very positive for the neighbours of the property concerned and we have good feedback from many of the people reporting anti-social behaviour.

“Our ASB team work to the legislation and have to acquire the permission of the courts to close properties by working with our police partners to obtain the necessary evidence to do so.

"It is often our residents who live in close proximity to the problematic property who bravely come forward to make statements, and we would like to thank them for their vigilance and cooperation."

BCP Council will continue to work with Dorset Police to tackle anti-social behaviour and use all available legal powers to do so, Cllr Haines added.

Chief Inspector Alan Setchell, of Dorset Police, said: “Officers from our local neighbourhood policing teams are committed to working with our local partners including BCP Council to address concerns raised by residents in our communities and take action where appropriate.

“This work has increasingly included compiling evidence to put before courts to secure closure orders, which can be an effective way of addressing issues linked to a particular property as well as safeguarding vulnerable individuals who reside there.

“Closures orders are just one of a number of tools we use as we continue to work alongside local partners to tackle anti-social behaviour and other persistent offending that can have a significant detrimental impact on local communities."

The officer said police are assisted with information from the public. Anyone with concerns related to anti-social behaviour should contact the force by visiting, by emailing or by calling 101.