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Jubilation as nuisance tenants are expelled

PUBLISHED: 11:09 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 09:32 12 August 2010

CELEBRITY: Nicola T

CELEBRITY: Nicola T

NUISANCE neighbours have been evicted and a flat boarded up after career criminals blighted residents. Bromley Magistrates Court imposed a three-month closure order on the apartment in Upton Court, Blean Grove, Penge.

CELEBRITY: Nicola T

NUISANCE neighbours have been evicted and a flat boarded up after "career criminals" blighted residents.

Bromley Magistrates Court imposed a three-month closure order on the apartment in Upton Court, Blean Grove, Penge.

This week residents celebrated after years of anti-social tenants ended as police and housing authority staff closed the premises.

The cycle of nuisance and sometimes violent behaviour started when two "career criminals" moved in to the house after their release from prison. The two had met the tenant's boyfriend in jail and given the address to probation officers.

CELEBRITY: Nicola T

Aurelie Kouadio, 40, lives below the flat with her six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter.

She said: "When I first came here three years ago life was really bad, then it slowly got quieter round here.

"Then all the trouble started again with the flat upstairs. Although the tenant herself was nice, her visitors caused the problem.

"Problems became worse during the snow. They were trying to smash windows and hurt people. My window was already broken, but they pushed through the glass and made it worse."

CELEBRITY: Nicola T

Another resident, who lives opposite, kept a diary of abusive behaviour, including solvent abuse, fires and smashed windows.

Specific complaints from residents included spilling petrol from mini-mopeds and lighting fires in the hallways. In 2007 the Times reported a gang brawl that took place in nearby Franklin Road as the situation worsened.

Police used the evidence to close the flat under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, which is usually used to close down crack-dens - homes being used for taking class A drugs.

Linda Mullins, neighbourhood housing manager for Affinity Sutton, said: "We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour. We respect our residents and we will work with them and use the evidence they provide to make sure that, together, we build a safer and stronger community."

Sergeant Rob Goodwin, who is in charge of Penge and Cator Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "In 2007 there were a lot of problems in the area. Since then we have adopted a policy where any anti-social behaviour gets stamped on straight away.

"In 2007 we had gang fights in the park, now we have football training there twice a week.

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