Police use partial closure power for the first time on Bedford block of flats

Innovative legislation was used after ongoing issues of drugs and anti-social behaviour

A full closure order has been granted on an address at Richbell Court in Bedford today (August 4).

Using innovative legislation for the first time, Bedfordshire Police got the order after ongoing issues of drugs and anti-social behaviour.

The force has also issued a partial closure order for three months on Chandos Court, meaning that only residents, immediate family and support workers can enter.

From left. Inspector Sam Hunt from Bedfordshire Police, Cllr Colleen Atkins and bpha regional housing manager David Genery

Luton Magistrates’ Court granted a partial three-month closure order on the entire block of flats and two full closure orders on two addresses inside the tower block on Friday (July 31).

And today (August 4) a full closure order was also granted on an address in Richbell Court in Bedford linked to last week’s operation, when Bedford Today revealed that eight people had been arrested as drugs and weapons were seizedThe team worked closely with housing association bpha and Bedford Borough Council to apply for the closure order.

Sergeant Emma Underwood, from the Bedford community policing team, said: “We are extremely happy with the results from court. This is the first time we have used this power and it will make a huge difference to the residents living there.

“This is a huge piece of work that has been ongoing for months and could only have been achieved alongside the hard work from our partners.”

Kevin Bolt, bpha’s chief executive, said: “This outcome is a really good piece of joint working with our partners and is testament to the hard work we have been doing over a number of months to make these homes a better place to live for our communities.

“We have listened to what our residents have told us and have worked to tackle the issues they have raised. The closure orders will make a real difference to the lives of our customers and the wider community and we are committed to continue working with our partners to ensure the best outcomes for all.”