Utterly repulsive… I feel apoplectic… I’m disgusted
These are some of the words expressed by local neighbourhood officers in Surrey Heath towards the men who took advantage of an elderly, vulnerable gentleman living in Bagshot and used his house to take drugs and alcohol.
At Guildford Magistrates Court on Monday 10 July, Surrey Police made a successful application for a Partial Closure Order on the property in Wardle Close for a period of three months. During this three month period, only the tenant and his carers will be allowed to enter the property and anyone else found inside the premises will be arrested.
The court heard from neighbourhood officers that the victim was a trusting, proud man who saw the good in everyone. However, his limited mobility, poor health and loneliness opened him up to being exploited by a group of younger men who had no reason to be there but used his property to deal and take drugs and drink alcohol.
A passionate statement was also read out from the man’s daily carer explaining how she never knew who or what she would find when she visited and she was fed up of clearing up their mess and discovering drug paraphernalia all over the property. Often, she would come and check on the tenant in her own time as she was so worried about him.
Sergeant Michael Knight said: “Those that have been involved in this case are disgusted at the complete disregard for this man’s home and his personal property by this group and I personally feel utterly repulsed that a vulnerable elderly man could be treated in this way.
“When myself and PC Nathalie Pattison spoke to other elderly neighbours living nearby, the worry and upset on their faces was devastating to see. They told us they no longer felt safe and were worried about the type of individuals coming and going from the property at all hours of the day.
“Although my officers took time each day to visit the tenant to make sure he was safe and to remove anyone we found inside the property, clearly further intervention was necessary. Working with the Surrey Police Anti-Social Behaviour Team, other partner agencies, carers, the victim himself and the wider community we gathered the necessary evidence to submit the application for a Partial Closure Order and I’m pleased it has now been granted.”
Further ongoing intervention is now being put in place with the housing association, Accent Housing who are looking at the gentleman’s housing needs. In the short term, further support workers will be working with him to meet his needs and allow him to live in safety and without fear.
Don’t suffer in silence. If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood please contact Surrey Police on 101.
A one stop-shop for information on anti-social behaviour is also available at www.surreycommunitysafety.org.uk