18 March 2008
Senior officials from organisations including Caerphilly County Borough Council and Gwent Police met recently for a joint signing of a protocol to address the closure of crack houses.
Although not a current problem in the area, crack houses have emerged as being a major cause of harm to community life and regeneration in other parts of the country.
This being the case, the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership's Leadership Group have taken the decision to implement a protocol, whereby similar closures could be made swiftly and effectively should the need arise within the local area.
Community Safety Manager, Howard Rees said, "Today's joint protocol signing for the closure of "crack houses" truly shows partnership working at its best – should the need ever arise, we have sufficient measures in place to ensure that we have a real opportunity to act effectively and quickly to implement possible closures in the future."
Chief Superintendent Alun Thomas, said, "We are certainly committed to tackling the use of illegal drugs in our communities. This new protocol clearly states how organisations will work together to identify and close any crack houses that are found to be in existence in the area. This is all part of our drive to further reduce crime and improve the quality of life for local residents."
A senior police officer can issue a closure notice on premises that they have reason to believe are being used for the production, supply or use of Class A drugs.
The police must then apply to the court within 48 hours for a closure order.
Once the order has been granted, it can last for up to three months and can be extended for a further three months. During this time, the property is sealed and entering or remaining in the property is an offence.
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