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Residents 'frightened' after Meriden crackhouse order relaxed
People living in a block of Meriden flats have been left "frightened" after a crack house closure order was watered-down.
A court decided to relax the part of the order on the flat in Pinetree House, which had barred its occupant Roger Lewis from the premises.
A judge a Watford County Court removed the power of arrest from the order last Monday.
The decision comes after Hertfordshire Constabulary and Watford Community Housing Trust successfully applied for the original crackhouse closure order in October and then had it extended again in January.
The original order application was prompted after the force said it received numerous complaints from neighbours about nuisance behaviour.
One resident said the decision had left people in the flat fearful as they had been enjoying "normal lives" while the order was in force.
A resident in the flats, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "Myself and the other residents are not happy. We have been able to live normal lives for the last several months and now some residents are quite frightened.
"Some residents are worried for their safety as they made statements (for the police). It’s disgusting."
Hertfordshire Constabulary said it was disappointed the order had been downgraded.
It also urged residents in the flats to report any problems.
PC Nikki Simons from the Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team said: "We have worked closely with Watford Community Housing Trust in this matter and worked tirelessly to obtain the evidence needed to secure the Crack House Closure which gave the residents in the area much needed respite from this man’s behaviour.
"At the time the closure order ended, we successfully secured an extension. We then worked with the Housing Trust to apply for an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction, which was downgraded at court this week. We are extremely disappointed at this decision which means that police powers will be limited if he does breach the injunction.
"We know that residents are concerned. I’d reassure them that we will do all we can to assist them and progress this case to get a positive outcome for them.
"In the meantime I would urge people to continue to report incidents to police so we can respond and deal."