It was July month-end when Avon and Somerset Police have legally closed down two (2) blocks of flats in Bristol. The “close down” was a result of the police’s implementation of the recently enacted anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) powers in the locality.
The ASBO was newly granted the previous week by the district judge appointed at the Bristol Magistrates Court. A notice about the anti-social behaviour order was posted on the doorposts of the two (2) flats in Croydon Street and Lansdowne Court, Easton Road.
The notice about the anti-social behaviour means that the two (2) residences are legally closed against anyone who is not an official resident, a permitted visitor of a resident, or a legally authorized person. Legally authorized personnel may include officials from the council, police officials, crew from the electricity board, fire brigade members, ambulance and medical personnel, etc.
It is the first time that the Bristol police have used the ASBO powers in this manner. The ASBO powers imply that anyone found in the two (2) flats who are not legally allowed to be there may be arrested on the spot by the police.
The said two (2) flats in question have been under long surveillance by the police. Such surveillance results indicated that the common areas were under the guise of drug dealer and user syndicates for a very long time.
The said implementation of the ASBO to these two (2) flats is hoped to produce an end to the use of such communal areas as frequent hangouts of drug users and dealers. Kate Matthews, the ASBO coordinator of Avon and Somerset Police, have high hopes that this action is a positive step towards protecting residents against drug users and dealers. The order is expected also to produce an assuring impact on the youth and other vulnerable residents of the flats who were previously hesitant to accept guests due to the issues in their common areas.