Successful partnership working gives a former problem property a new lease of life
A house which was formerly the site of serious anti-social behaviour issues is now being refurbished and given a new lease of life thanks to successful partnership working between Watford Community Housing and Hertfordshire Constabulary. After working closely together as partners and with the local community, the property will now be offered out to people who need it.
Last year, we received a number of serious complaints about a property on Rushton Avenue which were then reported to Hertfordshire Constabulary. We worked together with the police, local councillors and residents to build up a file of supporting evidence which would allow a closure order to be brought against the house.
Watford Community Housing and the police worked side-by-side throughout the case, with staff from the housing association’s Anti-Social Behaviour team attending a raid on the property and submitting evidence throughout the court proceedings. In addition, we provided the police with in-depth knowledge of the situation, which helped to ensure the prosecution and deliver a positive outcome.
The closure order, which prohibits anyone from entering the property for three months, was extended for a further three months as the case continued. This allowed the property to remain free from anti-social behaviour and illegal activity, but also led to the house remaining empty and unused.
However, during court proceedings Watford Community Housing were given full possession of the house by the court, which has allowed major refurbishment works to begin. The two-bedroom property will now be turned into a much-needed home for local people to live in.
Andrea Loomes, Neighbourhoods Team Leader at Watford Community Housing said: “We’re really pleased about the positive result of this case. Working in partnership with the police is absolutely essential to keeping our communities safe, and the fact that we’ve been able to fully restore a house for someone to live in is an excellent outcome. This just goes to show that our policy of ‘evidence, action and procedure’ will lead to the court taking serious measures. I’d like to thank the residents and local community for their hard work and patience throughout this process.”
Watford Chief Inspector Matt Phillips said: “This is a great example of how partnership agencies work together in Watford to tackle anti-social behaviour. No-one should be detrimentally affected by the actions of their neighbours and we will continue to take this kind of action wherever necessary.
“I would urge local residents to please continue to report anything of concern to us. Your calls can make a real difference.”