Closure order on retirement flat puts paid to months of antisocial behaviour

 

Residents and staff at a private retirement development have been saved from the anti-social behaviour of one flat owner thanks to the council obtaining a closure order.

The order, issued at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court, means the flat, at Sovereign Court on Warham Road, will now be locked for three months.

Legal action was taken after the council’s anti-social behaviour team were approached for help by FirstPort Retirement Property Services Ltd., the firm which manages the flats.

The company had exhausted all other avenues, and needed assistance dealing with Geoffrey Ball, 69, the occupant of the flat at the centre of the case.

Mr Ball was found to have been verbally abusive to both other residents and staff on many occasions. He had also put lives at risk by starting fires on the flat roof of his flat.

He was accused of assaulting care workers, setting off alarms on a daily basis, causing regular noise nuisance, as well as a variety of other offences which resulted in the police being called at least once a week for several months.

Councillor David Wood, deputy cabinet member for communities, safety, and justice, said:

“This was an extreme case of one individual making the lives of those around them a misery. The harassment was so bad that the duty manager often had to lock herself in her office, and the risk posed to residents by the starting of fires and abuse of the alarm is completely unacceptable. It is for cases just like this the council set up its anti-social behaviour team and I’m pleased for those who have had to endure these problems we have achieved this result.”

In granting the closure order the court made it clear that Mr Ball’s behaviour was not just anti-social, but in the case of lighting fires ‘criminal’.

More information on dealing with anti-social behaviour in Croydon can be found here.

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