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Nightmare neighbours booted out and house shut down

A degenerate drugs den which left neighbours "scared stiff" due to fighting in the street, drunkenness and windows being smashed has been shut down.

Middlesbrough Council's Neighbourhood Safety team have secured a closure order on 97 Portman Street in the Gresham area of Middlesbrough.

The order means the tenants at the centre of months of horrifying anti-social behaviour - Michael Todd, 48, and Kayleigh Gallon, 30 - will be booted out and the property will be inaccessible to anyone for three months.

The house is now boarded up and if anyone tries to enter they will be prosecuted.

Teesside Magistrates' Court heard how complaints about the property were brought to the attention of Neighbourhood Safety officers in January this year.

The complaints related to the duo and their visitors being involved in dealing and exchanging drugs in the street, drinking alcohol, shouting and swearing, being verbally abusive and causing noise nuisance, the court was told.

Scores of people were recorded visiting the house and behaving in an anti-social manner - including known beggars and criminals - and causing problems for neighbours around the clock.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has recently announced a raft of measures to fight back against crime and anti-social behaviour including an increased number of street wardens and the introduction of Community Enforcement Vehicles fitted with CCTV.

A Public Space Protection Order is set to be introduced in the TS1 area and a closure order was previously obtained on a property on Thornton Street in North Ormesby dubbed a "house of horrors".

Mr Preston said: "Good people on this street said they felt "scared stiff" because of these horrible, selfish people making their neighbours' lives a misery.

"It's not on and we're not going to have it. We're going to use every weapon we have to fight back and that includes booting them out and boarding up the house so they can't get back in.

"I want to praise our Neighbourhood Safety officers who have worked with residents to build up a pile of evidence that has made this order possible.

"Anyone in Middlesbrough who is suffering because of bad behaviour of others should know we can do this, you can be completely anonymous and our officers will put the case together so action can be taken."

Anyone with any community problems which could be helped by the Neighbourhood Safety team can call 01642 728100 in complete confidence.

Pictured: 97 Portman Street boarded up with the closure order notice pasted onto the property after Middlesbrough Council secured a court order following anti-social behaviour.