Kirklees Council Secures Closure Order On Birstall Property
Kirklees Council yesterday (4 August 2021) secured a Closure Order on a property that has been at the centre of anti-social and criminal behaviour for two years.
Over a two-year period, the council and the police have received numerous reports of serious and persistent anti-social and criminal behaviour relating to the council-owned property occupied by Karen Allsopp (01/12/1967), Lewis Allsopp (07/06/2003) and Karen’s teenage daughter, at 21 Fieldhead Crescent, Fieldhead, Birstall.
The allegations reported have ranged from drug dealing and drug use, threats, verbal abuse, criminal damage to parties and excessive noise. All of which has had a serious and detrimental impact on the community.
The noise nuisance has been so persistent that the council has served three noise abatement notices for banging and loud voices and, more recently, in July 2021, a further noise abatement notice for loud music.
The council, in partnership with the police and other agencies, have made exhaustive attempts to engage with the occupiers of the property with no success. In 2020 the council served the first Notice of Seeking Possession (eviction notice), this led to a decrease in the disruption and the council did not pursue the eviction.
In late 2020, incidents at the property increased again and a second eviction notice was issued in April 2021. Since that time, Ms Allsopp has been convicted of a public order offence against a neighbouring family. The parties continued and verbal abuse and fighting in the garden late at night persisted.
Due to the serious effects the occupiers of the property were having on the neighbours and local community, the council started proceedings to obtain a closure order that would allow the immediate removal the occupiers.
Councillor Cathy Scott, Cabinet Member for Housing said:
“This has been a longstanding and very complex case, where numerous council departments have worked tirelessly with the police and local residents to resolve the issues perpetrated by the occupiers of the property at Fieldhead Crescent.
We did not take the decision to apply for a closure order lightly and have tried on many occasions to resolve the issues being reported at a local level, however, when things escalate to the point where our communities are being intimidated and threatened, we, the council, and our partners will use the powers we have available to us to deal with serious and persistent cases of anti-social behaviour.
The council and police would like to thank those residents brave enough to speak up, without their help this application may not have been successful.”
The case was heard by Kirklees Magistrates’ Court on 4 August 2021 and a three-month closure order handed down. Meaning that all those living in the property and their visitors will not be allowed back inside the home or garden area of the property for three months. Any person breaching this order can be arrested. The council will now formerly pursue the eviction of the occupiers.
A closure order is effective for an initial three-month period and can be extended for a further three months with the court’s approval. The council will seek this extension if necessary.