Police in bid to stop criminals taking over homes of vulnerable Sheffield residents

A police crackdown is under way on criminals taking over the homes of vulnerable residents in Sheffield.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 12:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 3:15 pm

Closure orders granted at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court have been served at four homes in Sharrow where the occupants were deemed at risk of criminals using their properties for criminality, such as drug dealing.

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Under the specific terms of the orders, only the tenants or representatives from South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield City Council and the NHS can enter the homes.

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Closure orders have been served in a bid to prevent criminals from moving into homes occupied by vulnerable residents in Sheffield

LATEST: 'Racing' supercar drivers in court over crash on major Sheffield roundaboutThe orders cover properties on Leverton Gardens, Washington Road and Cliff Street.CRIME: Boris Johnson confronted in flood-hit Doncaster by residents who tell him 'you've not helped us'Sergeant Ross Greenwood, from the Sharrow Neighbourhood Team, said: “We have been experiencing significant problems around some of these properties, where we have seen vulnerable people targeted by shameless criminals.“You might not have heard of the phrase cuckooing, but this is when people take over the properties of vulnerable people using coercion and sometimes force, in order to deal drugs or conduct criminal activity in a house or flat that has no links to them.“Not only can this have a huge impact on the occupant, but the ripple effect of this is that neighbours have their lives disrupted by anti-social behaviour, drug use, noise and low-level crime.“When closure orders are granted, it means that only the tenant has the right to be in that property and authorised professionals such as the police.“Robust policing and enforcement of these orders and acting on any breaches can prevent the property being at the centre of criminality and that’s what we intend to do here.”

He added: “It’s unusual to secure multiple closure orders in one go, so this should have added impact. If you live in the area, you will see my officers attending on a regular basis, I would encourage you to report any unusual activity around these locations.”PC Katie Adams said: “Working in partnership gets results. Communities working with the authorities giving focus to addresses associated with criminality can make a real difference. We thank our partners and local residents for their support.”South Yorkshire Police said victims of cuckooing are often vulnerable people who are subjected to threats of violence.Signs that it could be happening at a property include an increase in the number of people entering and leaving; an increase in anti-social behaviour; signs of drug use and the curtains or blinds being permanently closed.