28/04/2009

Leeds 'Drugs Den' Shut Down By Authorities

Police in Leeds have shut down a 'drugs den' as part of an operation targeting drugs, prostitution and related crimes in the Armley area.

A property in Holdforth Gardens has been locked and boarded up after magistrates issued a closure notice under 'crackhouse' legislation.

The action was prompted by the work of West Inner Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and Leeds City Council.

Local residents had complained about drug users coming and going from the address, who were frequently seen injecting drugs and discarding used hypodermic needles.

On a number of occasions, officers from the West Inner team found people leaving the premises in possession of heroin and crack cocaine. Heroin was also found when officers searched the property in February.

Inspector Mark Bownass, of the West Inner NPT, said: "This was clearly a completely unacceptable situation that was blighting the lives of residents and simply could not be allowed to continue.

"Together with the local authority, we have taken action to tackle the problem. As soon as we had the evidence we needed, we moved to get the place shut down."

Under the conditions of the closure notice, no-one other than the authorities can enter the premises for the next three months.

The closure comes as part of the second phase of Operation Abbreviate.

Some 130 arrests for drug offences and related crimes were made under phase one of the operation, which targeted New Wortley.

Subsequently, two drugs dens shut down and 15 injunctions issued banning problem drug users from the area.

(PR/BMcC)

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