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Police swoop to close Malvern crack house just yards from a school
POLICE swooped on a flat in a quiet residential street to close a suspected crack house – just yards away from the gates of a primary school.
Neighbours spoke of living in fear after three unnamed men were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply a class A drug after a warrant was executed at the ground-floor flat in Pickersleigh Grove, near Grove Primary School and Nursery, Malvern.
It was the first such closure in the Malvern Hills District.
Police documents used to obtain the closure order confirmed the registered tenant of the Festival Housing-owned property was Robert Horne, aged 40.
PC Dave Wise, from the Pickersleigh Safer Neighbourhood Team, praised residents for making statements.
West Mercia Police placed the closure order, which was sanctioned by Worcester’s magistrates court under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, with immediate effect for 88 days from Monday.
Three warrants have been executed at the address during a three-month period, with the three arrests coming on Wednesday, November 27, police said. Police added Mr Horne had been arrested on a previous occasion and was not one of the trio arrested on November 27.
PC Dave Wise said it had taken a lot for residents to highlight the serious nature of the incident.
He said: “There has always been a certain level of drug activity and in the last three months it has increased quite a lot. We think the property has been the target of drug dealers from out of the area.
“The important message for us is this is not the end result.
"We are very conscious that this can move the problem on but we have already got plans to do follow-up warrants.”
He said the force has more potential targets and would “take opportunities to carry out an action plan to target the displacement” as well as executing further warrants to show Malvern wasn’t an “easy target”.
One witness, a full-time mother, said in a police statement that she had only lived in the road for a short while but had noticed a “deterioration in the quality of life” and felt “frightened and intimidated” by people going to the flat.
She added: “I want it to stop, I don't want my nine-year-old knowing about all this stuff and being frightened to go out.”
Another anonymous witness, who has lived in the road for eight years, said: “Over the last couple of years the quality of life around here has deteriorated.”
The three men arrested on November 27 remain on police bail.
Read more on this story tomorrow in your Malvern Gazette.