Posted on Friday 22 September 2017
Above: The steel-shuttered former home of Peter Armstrong in Wordsworth Street
A Closure Order has been granted on a privately-rented home in Gateshead following complaints against a nightmare neighbour and his visitors.
Magistrates in Gateshead granted the order against the address in Wordsworth Street, Gateshead after an application from Gateshead Council under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The application was supported by Northumbria Police.
Neighbourhood Police officers had received reports that 42 year-old Peter Armstrong, of 54 Wordsworth Street, and numerous visitors to his property, had been making the lives of his neighbours a nightmare. There were multiple reports of anti-social behaviour, crime and drug dealing from in and around the property and residents said they were living in perpetual fear.
Residents reported shouting coming from the property to visitors in the street, visitors shouting, arguing, drinking, spitting and urinating in the street, pestering of residents by knocking on their doors, sitting on their boundaries, and stopping them in the street to ask for money or to use their mobile phones. Residents also reported finding needles on the ground in neighbouring streets.
Gateshead Council and Northumbria Police agreed to take legal proceedings against Mr Armstrong after previous court action had failed to change his behaviour or the behaviour of his guests.
Magistrates agreed to a Closure Order on his home banning Mr Armstrong from living in his own home for a period of three months. As a result, Armstrong and his associates were asked to leave the address following the hearing on Wednesday, September 20. He was evicted today (September 21) by police officers and the rented property is now securely shuttered.
Neighbourhood Inspector Alan Pitchford has said that police won't hesitate to use the legislation again if individuals choose to behave in a way that causes distress to local residents.
He said: "We know anti-social behaviour is a significant issue for our local residents and along with our partner agencies we work tirelessly to do everything we can to tackle this issue.
"The ongoing partnership work between the Gateshead Council and our local neighbourhood policing teams will deal effectively and efficiently with all reports of this type of behaviour.
"It's not fair that they have to put up with this, they deserve to be able to live in their own homes without having to put up with the anti-social behaviour of another individual and I hope they can now have some reprieve from this behaviour.
"We hope offenders now recognise just how seriously we take this kind of behaviour and understand that it will not be tolerated under any circumstances."
Councillor Linda Green, Cabinet member for Communities, says: “This is the first time we have usedthis legislation to ban someone from their privately-rented home, but we were left with no choice and I’m sure it will come as a huge relief to his neighbours.
“Nobody should have to endure the kind of gross anti-social and criminal behaviour that was spilling out of Mr Armstrong’s home onto this quiet residential street, and both ourselves and Northumbria Police are grateful for the patience and support those residents have given us in dealing with Mr Armstrong and his friends.
“We won’t hesitate to use this legislation again should the need arise.”
Members of the public can report anti-social behaviour by visiting the Northumbria Police website and using their online reporting form here: www.northumbria.police.uk/contact. They can also dial 101 or email their local neighbourhood policing team - details can all be found on the Northumbria Police website.
Alternatively, they can phone the council’s Community Safety team on 0191 433 3990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.