South East Wales

Merthyr Tydfil's first 'nuisance' neighbour home ban

A 'nuisance' neighbour has become the first person in Merthyr Tydfil to be legally banned from her home.

South Wales Police, Merthyr Tydfil council and Hafod Housing joined forces to secure a closure order to shut down the unnamed tenant's property.

Magistrates acted after reports from residents in Fir Tree Drive, Treharris, about persistent unacceptable behaviour dating back to December 2009.

Police said the move would make residents feel safer in their homes.

The order, secured under the 2003 Anti Social Behaviour Act, means the tenants are evicted from the property and the building will remain boarded up.

Any attempts to enter the building could lead to arrest and prosecution.

Among the anti-social behaviour listed were persistent rowdy parties, fighting, drunkenness, loud music being played at all hours of the day and night, and spit and vomit fouling the outside of the premises.

Jeff Edwards, leader of Merthyr council, said it was the first application for a closure order made by the council.

He said: "When severe nuisance and anti-social behaviour occur in residential areas, it undermines people's sense of personal safety right at the point where it matters most - in and around their homes."

Sgt Joanne Jones, from the Treharris neighbourhood policing team, said the behaviour of the occupier and her visitors greatly impacted on the lives of people in Fir Tree Drive.

"The closure order shows that communities should not and will not be expected to tolerate such behaviour, whether the home is rented or privately owned," she said.

Alan Morgan, managing director of Hafod Housing Association, said the authorities had spent months trying to resolve the issue without the need for the closure order.

"Regrettably, this could not be achieved," he said.

"Anti-social behaviour is committed by a minority but it can have a huge impact on the lives of the many who want no more than to enjoy peace in their own homes. "

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