THE tenants of a flat in Bridgwater have been kicked after "repeated concerns" about drug offences and anti-social behaviour.

A three-month closure order has been slapped on 23 Poskitt House at Taunton Magistrates' Court.

Since the tenants moved into the third floor premises in September last year, neighbours in the block of flats have complained about:

*suspected drugs use and supply by the tenants and their guests;

*multiple and frequent visitors to the property at all times of the day and night;

*people loitering outside the address causing fear and intimidation;

*regular disturbances within the flat and communal area of the building;

*criminal damage to the premises.

Police worked closely with the landlord, Habinteg Housing, and building owners Magna Housing Association to secure the closure order.

It means no-one is allowed to enter the flat without permission.

Cerwyn Pritchard, anti-social behaviour co-ordinator for Somerset, said: "This order hopefully sends a clear message that drug use and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and together with our partners, we will use all legal remedies to protect our communities.

"Our local neighbourhood policing team received a large number of complaints about the use and supply of drugs from 23 Poskitt House by its occupants and their visitors.

"The conduct of the tenant and their associates clearly had a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of their neighbours, to the point where some felt afraid to continue living a normal life in the area.

"We rely on the community to give us information and I encourage anyone with any concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour within their community to contact us.

"We will treat all reports in confidence and the more evidence we can gather in situations like these, the stronger the case we can present at court.

"I would like to thank all of those residents who have put their faith and trust in us. I hope that this shows that we will take your concerns seriously and act where the law allows."

Sara Hendry, head of housing for Habinteg, said: "Habinteg puts the highest priority on the safety and wellbeing of our tenants and neighbours.

"We work hard to prevent anti-social behaviour and respond actively if it arises. In this instance we supported the multi-agency decision to obtain a closure order on a property we manage in a block of flats in Bridgwater.

"We are grateful for the hard work of all the partners involved, and for the support of the local community who helped build a clear picture of what was happening.

"We hope that as we progress to the re-possession of the property, that day to day life will improve, not only for our tenants but for everyone affected in the local community."