A HOUSE which became the epicentre of a crime spree spearheaded by missing youngsters - which even saw a bullet being shot into a bedroom window - has been closed down as part of a joint crackdown by Barnsley Council and South Yorkshire Police.
The property, on Willman Road in Lundwood, was the scene of a firearms discharge which led enforcement officers to investigate in June.
A closure order was served due to the severity of the incidents, with a report revealing it was being used as a meeting place for ‘looked-after and missing children’.
It added: “In June, a firearm was discharged with a bullet entering the bedroom window of an address in Lundwood.
“The incident related to an ongoing dispute and followed reports of antisocial behaviour and concerns that ‘looked-after’ and missing children were regularly attending the address.
“Some occupants had received child abduction notices due to concerns of young people being susceptible to child criminal exploitation (CCE).
“Due to the severity of the incidents, a closure notice was served on the tenant.
“The order was granted at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court just one week after the firearms incident, closing the property to all visitors.
“Whilst Barnsley already adopts a robust approach to enforcement, in reality, there are competing local dynamics which drive a more balanced approach to what are appropriate interventions.
“These include the aim not to disproportionately criminalise children and young people, the clear requirements to demonstrate necessity, proportionality, and public interest, and the view of the courts in relation to certain measures such as injunctions.
“It should be noted that the government are seeking to publish league tables for ASB enforcement by 2024/25, and increasing pressure to enforce is likely to be part of political campaigning leading up to the next general election.
“Using evictions as an example, evicting someone from their home is one of the most significant powers available to the council.
“The courts rightly insist that there is compelling evidence to demonstrate why such action is necessary and will insist that all other measures have been explored before considering granting an order.
“Evictions on management grounds for ASB remains relatively rare and in the most extreme circumstances, yet it is often what complainants expect to happen at the outset.”
Over recent months, the numbers of firearms discharges being reported have increased, and South Yorkshire Police is taking a ‘coordinated approach’ to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
It’s believed the suspects fled the scene when the property was targeted, although no-one was injured during the incident.
Coun Wendy Cain, cabinet spokesperson public health and communities, added: “While we don’t comment on individual cases, a closure order is typically a temporary measure authorised by the courts to assist with the immediate management of more serious antisocial behaviour and disorder issues.
“These orders help to provide initial respite whilst any longer term intervention plans are developed.
“All cases are managed according to the specifics of each case.
“Where appropriate, the council or police can apply to extend the period of the closure order.”