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Extra safety measures now in place at former 'crack den' block
EXTRA security measures are now in place at a block of flats where suspected drug misuse had been causing misery for residents.
A property at Richard Pease House, in Trinity Road, Darlington, was boarded up in May and left in isolation for three months, after a crack den closure order was executed.
Since then, social housing provider Places for People, which runs the accommodation, has put in a series of measures aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour.
They include CCTV, extra lighting and reduced landscaping at the front of the building, which was providing cover for unwanted visitors to use drugs or commit other crimes.
Lockable gates were fitted to both ends of the pathway at the side of the building.
A fortnightly customer surgery was also set up to ensure that customers were able to report incidents and provide information.
Places for People was highly commended at the recent North-East Community Impact Awards, for reducing anti-social behaviour at the site.
The awards are run by the National Housing Federation which represents thousands of housing groups across the country.
Richard Pease House is home to 25 properties, yet one resident was causing anti-social behaviour and suspected drug related activity, which attracted a lot of unwanted visitors at the scheme causing ongoing noise disturbances at all hours.
Following complaints from residents, Places for People’s community safety team put a series of measures in place.
Further measures were taken after Places for People consulted with customers and partners in the area.
Andrea Ainsley, housing services manager for Places for People, said: “We are delighted that our hard work has been recognised.
“By working in partnership with the police, the council and our customers, we have cracked down on misbehaviour and helped create a safer environment for our residents.
“This sends out a strong signal that we will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour and will take whatever steps necessary to ensure it is stamped out.”
Dave McLeish, caretaker at Richard Pease House, said: “Before community safety measures were taken, residents at Richard Pease House felt unsafe and trapped in their homes.
“Now people don’t feel like they have to take extra security precautions, they are more comfortable and relaxed in their homes and their quality of life has improved.”