Lambeth has used new powers to shut down seven properties in three months including a brothel, an illegal rave venue and a drugs den, which were causing a nuisance to residents.
The new Anti-Social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014 came into force on October 20 last year and empowers councils and police to issue immediate closure notices on premises involved in anti-social behaviour issues.
Lambeth’s enforcement officers alongside the Met police have been quick to use the powers, issuing seven Premises Closure Notices, three of which have already led to full orders through the courts.
Lambeth cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Jane Edbrooke, said: “It’s important for our officers to be able to act in this way to protect our residents.
“People want to live in a safe and secure environment and when they feel threatened or intimidated, we will act to put a stop to any anti-social behaviour.”
A premises that was operating as a brothel in St Leonard’s has been closed for the maximum period of three months following complaints to police and the council about intimidation, anti-social behaviour and people approaching women asking for sex massages.
Coburg Crescent in Streatham Hill had a three month order secured after intelligence suggested that there was going to be an illegal New Year’s Eve Party. The residents and neighbours in this area had been subject to a number of all-night parties and events causing high levels of nuisance and distress and the use of the new power ensured that they were not subject to further disturbances.
Another property in St Leonard’s was closed for one month following a police raid where drugs and a counterfeit firearm were found.
Chief Inspector Roy Smith, from Local Policing, said: “This demonstrates the strength of partnership working and will reassure local communities that Lambeth Police and Lambeth Council are leading the country in our adoption of the new ASB legislation and will continue to use all tools at our disposal to make Lambeth safe for those who live, work and visit the borough.”
Notices have also been served on the other four premises following squatters breaking into an empty premise, a club following a stabbing, a pre-planned illegal rave in a squatted premises and an off license where stolen goods were found.
Lambeth also secured the first Community Behaviour Order (CBO) in London within the first week of the legislation coming into effect. This was against a prolific beggar and street drinker in Vauxhall.