by Andy Solomon, ASB Team Leader, Ipswich Borough Council
A 23 year old single female in an Registered Social Landlord property, she is vulnerable and was persuaded to give up her 2nd floor one bedroomed flat to two friends of her cousin, who came from London, whilst she moved out to live with the cousin in her accommodation. The visitors started to deal heroin and crack cocaine from the property, loud music was played at all times of the day and night, there were frequent visitors, and disorder nearby. The girl wasn’t seen for sometime as she was with her cousin as instructed. This activity resulted in several complaints to the Police and the RSL.
The Immediate Action
The flat was raided, the two young men from London arrested and Class A drugs were recovered. Also in the flat was some cannabis and a bottle of Methadone. The young girl admitted possession of the cannabis and methadone. She was aware of what was happening at her flat. She was given a Police Caution for possession and it was considered that a Crack House Closure should be applied for.
Because, together with Sanctuary Housing, we had uploaded all information about the case to ECINS, we were able to quickly involve and task the Safer Neighbourhood Team at Suffolk Police who had all the information they needed in one place.
Longer Term Action
Due to her vulnerability we did not go down the closure route, she was issued with a Notice Seeking Possession of her property and entered into an Acceptable Behaviour Contract with conditions around the management of her property, the access given to it by people who did not live in the area, her non-association with local drug dealers and her accessing treatment services.
Whilst her appointment keeping was poor, she did complete the ABC successfully, the drug dealers were kept away from the area, she accessed help and support, kept her property and turned her life around.
ECINS ensured that everyone involved in this case paid attention to the actions that were needed to deliver a positive result. We were able to task each other and communicate more effectively because everything was done electronically rather than relying on people to be around to answer the phone. There was no repetition in workload or communication as all the information was there for us all to see and updated in realtime so that everyone knew what everyone else was doing.
In this case we had a positive result but if it had turned out differently and Class A dealing had started up from the premises again then we had everything we needed to go straight to court for a Closure Order Not only that, but the time spent on pulling that evidence together would have been drastically cut down as it was recorded all in one place on ECINS.
“By using ECINS in this way we saved the Police and Local Authority money, sent a message out to the community that drug dealing wouldn’t be tolerated and were able to divert one young vulnerable person away from crime and disorder.”