18th September 2021

Closure order for Taunton premises at forefront of drug-related activity

Taunton Deane Borough Council has moved to ‘reassure’ residents following the recent closure order for a premises in Duke Street that had been at the forefront of drug-related activity for a number of months.

The application made by the council in partnership with the police was approved at the Taunton Magistrates Court.

It followed a search warrant at the address in October 2018, with the seizure of suspected class A drugs, drug paraphernalia and mobile phone devices linked to ‘County Lines’ drug supply.

The council’s anti-social behaviour officer, Jack Madge, said:

“The council has made efforts to improve Duke Street in its physical appearance and has resources on the ground to disrupt the affiliation of drug use, supply and anti-social behaviour.

We want to reassure residents and local business who have been affected by disorder associated with Duke Street that future lettings of properties will have to meet a strict criteria.

This closure order isn’t the end of our work and only demonstrates our commitment to continue improving the area.

I would like to thank everyone involved for all their good work in supporting the Council’s application and their pro-active work in policing Duke Street.”

PC Andrew Beake, of Avon and Somerset Police, said:

“County lines related crime has a corrosive effect on our communities and we’re working closely with all our partner agencies to disrupt this criminal activity and ensure Somerset is a hostile place for those looking to set up a county lines network.

The closure of this premises is a tangible example of the action we can take to hamper county lines criminals and protect those vulnerable to exploitation at their hands.

We want our communities to feel safe and secure and that’s why we’re urging people to call us if they have any information about people involved in drugs, either as victims or perpetrators.

We’ll assess all intelligence received and take robust action where necessary.”