Problematic but vulnerable tenants at a block of flats in Bracknell are to be moved on after police forcibly closed the flats this year.

The decision to move the tenants was highlighted by a leading police officer who was reporting to the council on the  “innovative work” that has been done to deal with problematic neighbours and anti-social behaviour in Bracknell.

This July, police enacted a full closure order on six flats in Calfridus Way after two problematic but vulnerable neighbours were causing anti-social behaviour (ASB).

They enacted a three-month closure obtained from magistrates which barred anyone from entering the building other than tenants and “identified key people” such as support workers, carers or trusted family members.

READ MORE: The Bracknell roads where police have issued closure orders

Acting Chief Inspector (CI) Helen Kenny said: “Two flats in particular were causing a lot of ASB by the vulnerability of the tenants themselves, they were attracting ASB and criminality, and some very unwanted visitors, and it was causing significant distress for the other four residents, and they were reporting continuous daily ASB and they didn’t feel safe in their own homes, and it was also leading to some quite dangerous confrontations.

“We took the unusual step of trying to go for a closure order on all six properties, including the four properties that were actually victims of the ASB.”

She explained that police tried to engage with the tenants first, but they were so “entrenched” that they didn’t respond to support, so they engaged in patrols to deter problem visitors. Although a drugs warranted was executed, police failed to find any illegal substances.

They then took the step of engaging with the landlord Silva Homes, which issued warnings to the problematic tenants.

She said this to demonstrate how all avenues were exhausted before the decision was taken to close the flats.

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Acting CI Kenny said: “We got those four residents who were very much the victims of this ASB and got them to agree to the closure order on their properties. This was huge for them, this was preventing them from having any friends round, from having family round, and it really was significant for them.

“But it stopped all those unwanted visitors from entering the whole block and all the communal areas.  It’s the first one we’ve done in the Thames Valley, two months into it ASB has significantly reduced, reports are zero at the moment.

“It’s given us and our partners a strict three-month window where we can use all the support services available to work with these two very vulnerable residents. It gave them the breathing space without those unwanted visitors to work with us. And as a result already there is movement that has been agreed, so both residents are due to be moved to alternate properties where there will be far more support for them. ”

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The result was praised by Councillor Isabel Mattick (Conservative) the representative where the order was enacted in Harmans Water, as Assistant Inspector Kelly highlighted the work Thames Valley Police have been doing over the last year at a full council meeting.

She also implied that anti-social behaviour is an enduring issue in the area.

Cllr Mattick said: “I was delighted about the outcome of Calfridus Way, I was really pleased that the offenders got moved out, because a few years ago we had a similar case in another place in Harmans Water, where there was a drug user and they were visited constantly by drug dealers, and the mother and daughter who lived in the flat opposite they were the ones who had to move, and I think that was a very poor reflection.”

You can see tweet coverage of the meeting here:

Acting CI Kenny gave the presentation at the meeting of Bracknell Forest Council on Wednesday, September 15.