Operation Highgate: Merseyside Police
Inspector Dave Brennan and his local police team in St. Helen’s Merseyside took a step back and realised they could utilise the new ASB legislation and get results rather than relying on the more traditional police routes.
He thought creatively about a local issue they had of a number of drug dens in the area but where evidence for full criminal investigations was lacking. An operation to serve closure notices on 13 of these properties all at once was radical but wonderfully effective.
Their next step was to knock on neighbour’s doors to gather evidence. The police officers were deeply moved to hear what so many people had been enduring for months, even years.
Suddenly their focus moved from ‘stopping criminal activity’ to ‘preventing further distress and alarm for these victims of anti-social behaviour’.
The operation was successful leading to the arrest of some individuals and the closure of all 13 properties. The police officers were amazed to see the reaction from local residents – coming out to thank and even applaud them.
Police Inspector Dave Brennan says: “With hearsay evidence we could apply for Closure Orders and bring swift respite to the victims. I think they’re a great tool and am encouraging other police forces to use them too.”
The victim’s quotes before and after the operation speak for themselves:
Residents’ comments before the operation when police went to gather statements:
Residents’ comments after the operation: