Suspected drugs den believed to be used by dealers and prostitutes is closed down

The flat was located at 24A Whalebine Lane. Pic: Google

The flat was located at 24A Whalebine Lane. Pic: Google - Credit: Archant

A flat above shops in Dagenham that was suspected of being used by prostitutes and drug dealers has been closed down following a catalogue of complaints from neighbours and traders.

Police and Barking and Dagenham Council were granted a closure order for the property at 24A Whalebone Lane, which was also a magnet for other criminal activity and begging.

Barkingside Magistrates Court granted the three-month long order after officers uncovered evidence that backed the complaints they had received.

Anyone who breaks the order by entering the property can be fined or jailed.

Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “This is an excellent result and I’m really pleased that the courts have finally deemed it fit to shut down this building. The criminal behaviour taking place was completely unacceptable and had a really negative effect on local residents and businesses in this area.

“The property closure sends out a crystal clear message: we won’t tolerate criminal and anti-social behaviour in Barking and Dagenham and if you do it, we will come after you.

“I would like to appeal to our residents that when such things are reported to us, the process from investigation, court proceedings to a final judgement could take anything from six months and upwards. So bear with us, we will get the desired result in the end.”

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The property is owned by a charity that will take back possession.