Officers swoop on Ely drug den

POLICE have closed down a home being used as a drugs den in Ely.

Officers carried out three warrants since 2008 at the property in Nene Road, close to The Lantern Primary School and the City of Ely Community College.

Police found drugs and paraphernalia including scales, a debt sheet and used needles.

The occupant, who had several previous convictions for drugs offences, was sentenced to a community order, but officers decided to pursue a closure order under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act because of the nuisance being caused to residents living nearby.

Working alongside East Cambridgeshire District Council and Flagship Housing, a case was built against the property and a temporary closure notice was served on April 18, preventing anyone but the tenant from entering the property.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court granted the closure application on Tuesday (May 3). Flagship sealed the property the same afternoon, changing the locks, and it is now an offence for anyone to enter the property.

Flagship now has three months to process a formal cessation of tenancy and take possession of the property.

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East Cambs ASB co-ordinator Brian Tully said: “Despite the tenant and his associates being charged following the drugs warrant, the activity - which included unsavoury people calling at the property at all times of the day and night, causing commotion and nuisance - continued.

“We decided to pursue a closure order because of the continued anti-social behaviour people living in the street had to endure over a long period of time.

“This was an exceptional situation - Ely is a relatively low-crime area - and it is really pleasing that the agencies concerned, with the co-operation and support of residents, have worked together to bring an end to this illegal and anti-social operation which has blighted the neighbourhood. The same process will be used to address other problem areas in future.”

Flagship Head of Operations, Don Evans said, “Working with police has provided an effective way to remove drug users from the property. It is important that we, as a housing group, take the use of Class A drugs seriously.

“To protect our customers, illegal activity will not be tolerated and drug users face losing their homes.”

John Yates, Chair of the Ely Neighbourhood Panel, said: “Drugs activity has been a key priority for the panel process for the last 12 months.

“While I recognise the good work being done by police in addressing one-off drugs offences, and I know that is an ongoing objective, the eradication of a focal point for drugs activity is a major step in safeguarding our community.”