Council tenant risks losing her home

By on 29/08/2014 in Cllr McKay, News

Birmingham County Court today (August 29) has granted a two year Suspended Possession Order against Lorraine Spence (53) in respect of her council owned property.

Spence had been warned and reminded of her tenancy conditions by city council housing officers on several occasions, but had continued to allow her son Kirk Weston (23) to use the property in such a way as to cause considerable nuisance and annoyance to those in the neighbouring area.

The Suspended Possession Order means that:

1. Kirk Weston is not allowed to live at the property and is only allowed to visit from 7pm on Christmas Eve until 7pm on New Year's Day or where the court orders he can in limited circumstances;
2. Kirk Weston is not allowed to have a key to the property; and
3. Spence must allow the council officers access to her property in order that they can conduct inspections without notice of such visits, so long as they are between the hours of 7am - 7pm.

If Spence breaches this Order, the city council will take action to evict her from her home.

This Notice follows on from an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction which was granted against Weston in May 2014. It is believed that Weston has resided with his mother at her address at Lygon Grove in Quinton since 2009, and whilst living there, has been involved in numerous incidents which have required frequent attendance by the police at the property. Weston's continued anti-social behaviour had led to a community living in constant fear, alarm and distress.

On several occasions, officers from West Midlands Police, who worked with council housing officers, have been met with hostility from Ms Spence. When attempting to conduct searches of the property, they have previously been hindered by vicious pit-bull dogs kept at the tenancy. Spence was convicted of owning a banned pit-bull in 2010.

During searches of the property, drugs have been found, as well as suspected stolen goods and paraphernalia which is associated with the production of cannabis. The conduct of Ms Spence and her son has often attracted unwanted visitors to the property causing a disturbance to neighbours in the surrounding area.

Councillor James McKay, Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion, Equalities and Community Safety said: “The city council will seek legal action against any tenant who is involved in or allows another person to be involved in serious criminal activity and causes local residents alarm and distress. This case highlights to the community that everyone should have the right to enjoy their neighbourhood without fear.

“These notices demonstrate support from the courts in protecting our communities from this sort of behaviour. Despite previous warnings the anti-social behaviour and criminal activity continued so we had no alternative but to take legal action.”

Sergeant Jeff Doaks, from the Quinton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “As this order shows, those who think they are above the law and commit crimes and cause anti-social behaviour can think again.

“As well as a criminal record, troublemakers run the very real risk of losing not just their freedom through a stint behind bars, but also their home.

“Having compiled a damning dossier of evidence made-up of complaints from local people and police reports, we were able to secure this Suspended Possession Order and restore normality to the road.

“We can't always solve problems immediately but with the help of other organisations and with the backing of law-abiding local people, we can truly make a difference.”

If you suspect offences related to drugs, burglary and robbery where you live, or wish to give information about anti-social behaviour in your area, please call officers on 101 to report. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Ends

Notes to editors

1. For more media information please contact Natasha Bhandal on 0121 464 6210 or Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621.

2. Birmingham Community Safety Partnership is a joint partnership between Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and other agencies that work together to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour that affects our communities.

3. Crimestoppers is a national charity that provides secure means for people to get information to the police, anonymously and without fear of retribution, making their families and communities safer.

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