Police partial closure order on Bedford block of flats extended

A partial order was issued on the entire block of flats in July

Officers have secured a three-month extension on the first-ever partial closure order issued on an entire block of flats in Bedford, as part of the ongoing partnership work to tackle crime in high rise flats.

At the end of July, a partial closure order was issued on an entire block of flats at Chandos Court, meaning that only residents, authorised visitors and support workers can enter, which was due to expire on Friday, 30 October 30.

On Tuesday, Luton Magistrates’ Court granted a three-month extension for both the partial closure order on Chandos Court and also on the full closure order on two addresses inside the tower block.

Police closure order on Bedford block of flats extended

Since July, eight people have been arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs from the day of the initial closure, and three people have also been dealt with for breaching the partial closure order.

Now, as part of the ongoing major multi-agency operation to tackle drug crime and criminal exploitation, and drive out criminality for the longer term, partners are continuing to work on how they can ensure the safety of the block, and improve the quality of life for residents.

Bedfordshire Police has increased proactive patrols in the area, housing association bpha has had members of staff stationed at the property and Bedford Borough Council has supplied CCTV for the area.

A Neighbourhood Watch Scheme has also been set up for residents of Chandos Court and health coaches have been working with people who want to make a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

Inspector Samantha Hunt, from the Bedford community policing team, said: “We are very happy with the results from court. We know that residents were becoming anxious as to what might happen next, but we want to reassure them that we will continue to work closely with our partners in order to protect our community.

“The use of this power has been very successful and is something that could have only been achieved alongside the hard work of our partners.

“Reporting crime to us, even at a low-level basis, is invaluable in building an intelligence picture as to what is really happening in an area, and in this case has helped to shape the activity and outcome of our work.

“We hope the extension of the partial closure order will provide some comfort to residents that we are committed to investigating these issues and stamping out organised crime and exploitation in our community.”

Kevin Bolt, bpha’s chief Executive, said: “This is an excellent result for the residents of Chandos Court and must come as a big relief.

"Everyone involved has worked extremely hard to make sure that the progress made a few months back is not lost.

"My thanks go to the Police, Bedford Borough Council, our customers living at Chandos Court and, of course, the team at bpha.”

You can report concerns around drug activity and wider anti-social behaviour via the online reporting tool on Bedfordshire Police’s website. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111

If you are a resident at Chandos Court and are interested in joining the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme please email [email protected] or visit www.ourwatch.org.uk.