Police close Ely home being used as a drug den for almost two years
- Credit: Archant
POLICE have moved to close down a home in Ely that was being used as a drugs den.
Officers carried out 10 raids on 110 West Fen Road, Ely, since the start of 2012 and said most of those were productive, resulting in prosecution of the residents or their visitors.
During a raid on February 5 this year, police found - amongst other items of drug-dealing paraphernalia - traces of white powder on two sets of digital scales. The scales were seized as evidence, and the powder residue confirmed by forensic analysis to be cocaine.
A investigation found evidence, covering the past two years, of what police descrived as “typical anti-social behaviour that goes hand-in-hand with drug dealing”.
Officers observed people calling at all times of the day and night, staying for a short time then leaving; constant vehicle traffic to and from the property; loud noise at unsocial hours; violent arguments in the vicinity of the property; and lots of litter from discarded alcohol containers, spilling out into the street.
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A number of residents also provided witness statements.
Brian Tully, ASB co-ordinator for East Cambs, said that the combination of Class A drugs use and substantial associated disorder were the key elements in convincing officers to pursue further action against those living at the house.
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Police applied for a temporary closure notice on May 1, which prohibited anyone but the four residents entering the property and, on May 15, Cambridge Magistrates’ Court granted a closure order for the maximum three months.
This means that it is now illegal for the four residents, or any of their associates, to return to the property. The house has now been boarded up.
Police have posted closure orders at the entrance gate, and on the house itself, warning that it is a criminal offence to enter the property. The landlord, who lives abroad, is now considering the future of the property.
Ely police commander Russ Waterston said: “This is the third premises closure in recent years – we addressed similar problems in Nene Road, and Brooke Grove, in Ely in 2011 – but the most significant, because of its links to other crime.
“This is not to say that Ely has a worse drugs problem than anywhere else, because it absolutely doesn’t, but it does send a message that where we have both the evidence of drugs use and the support of the immediate community in providing evidence about the impact on their lives, we will take on the challenge.
“Drug dealers ought to recognise that if they ply their trade, we will respond by closing their property.”