Buildings demolished to stop anti-social trouble

By Gary Smee 01/03 Updated: 01/03 15:18

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Buy photos » Coun Jo Sandalls is joined by Frances Haley, community neighbourhood warden, Tim Wade, Rooftop Housing head of development, Sgt Phil Stayte, David Hemming, community safety manager, CSO Ben Kings and Mizellie Johns, resident, at the former site of the derelict buildings. Picture by Marcus Mingins 0912048MMR

RESIDENTS of a street plagued by drug taking, fighting and alcohol abuse can finally get some rest bite after a squat used by the troublemakers was knocked down.

The derelict buildings which backed onto Briar Close from the rear of the High Street were being used by a group of homeless people but homeowners said their lives were being made a misery because of a wave of anti-social behaviour throughout the day.

Despite numerous attempts by police and the building's owners, Rooftop Housing, to move the occupants on they kept returning and so bosses at the housing group felt they were left with little choice but to demolish the buildings.

Sgt Phil Stayte, from Evesham Police, said he was pleased residents could now get on with their lives in peace after years of problems caused by the homeless people.

"They were often drunk and we became aware that drugs were being taken on the premises," he said.

"A number of times officers went into the buildings and arrests were made for drug offences.

"Wychavon Council, West Mercia Police and local community contacts formed a committee with Rooftop Housing and a plan was formed to deal with the problems.

"We brought forward the demotion date for the premises and a phased demolition started a couple of weeks ago.

"Residents can be assured that there should be no further problems at the site and a good community team effort has produced the right result.”

Sgt Stayte said the homeless group had now been given other living options.

Evesham town councillor Jo Sandalls worked with residents to try and find a solution.

"During the past two years residents of Briar Close have been subjected to disturbances at all times of the day and night due to these trespassers," she added.

"My grateful thanks to all who have been involved proving that working together the big society really does work."

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