Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Evicting a drug dealer from Orts Road

Occasionally Reading Council does have to evict tenants, for the good of the majority (their neighbours) if nothing else.  The advantage that we have where someone is a tenant is that it can be done - if a drug dealer is an owner occupier there's not nearly so much that can be done to prevent them returning to the area later.


The example that's just occurred is from one of the most notorious drug dealing 'businesses' in Reading that was smashed last year by the police.


 This was an exceptional case of an individual who has committed crimes that impacted on their whole neighbourhood and, as a responsible landlord, the council won't allow this person to continue as a tenant. The good news is that this property can now be made available to someone who can make better use of it.


Council press release is below:


Working in close partnership with Thames Valley Police, Reading Borough Council (RBC) has successfully repossessed a property which was home to a tenant among those recently convicted of serious drug offences in the Orts Road area of Newtown.

Nicolas Walker was one of four men convicted and jailed for a total of 33 years at Reading Crown Court in December 2011 for conspiracy to supply cannabis in an operation which is alleged to have had an estimated turn over of £1.8 million a year. The convictions at Reading Crown Court followed Thames Valley Police carrying out a series of successful drug raids on properties in the Orts Rd area / Newtown area in May 2011.

Walker, jailed for 8 years, was a tenant in Avon Place, a property owned by Reading Borough Council.

As a result of his conviction Reading Borough Council's housing team proceeded with possession proceedings for the recovery of the Council property in Avon Place. The Council was successful and were granted possession of the property on January 30 at Reading County Court.

Reading Borough Council will not tolerate any form of anti social behaviour from its tenants and will take appropriate action against them, including legal proceedings which may result in them being evicted from their home. The property will now be re-let to an applicant on the Council waiting list.

Rachel Eden, Reading's Lead Councillor for Housing and Neighbourhoods, said: "Residents expect their neighbourhoods to be safe places. This was an exceptional case of an individual who has committed crimes that impacted on their whole neighbourhood and, as a responsible landlord, the council won't allow this person to continue as a tenant. I'm pleased that this property will be made available to someone who can make better use of it."