A MAJOR joint agency operation led by Lancashire Police has been carried out today (Wednesday, September 6th) at the waste site at T. H Smith, Great Harwood.
The joint action by agencies including Lancashire Police, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency and Hyndburn Borough Council was taken following numerous reports from members of the public concerned about activities associated with the site.
Today a Closure Notice was served on the site under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The police or council can issue a Closure Notice if they are satisfied on reasonable grounds: that the use of particular premises has resulted in nuisance to members of the public.
After the Closure Notice is served a longer term Closure Order is applied for at court. A Closure Order lasts for up to three months.
A significant number of resources attended the site including more than 100 police officers, police dogs and the police helicopter.
A spokesman said: “We have always said it is unacceptable that members of our communities should have to live side-by-side with criminal, antisocial and environmental activities that take place and have such a significant impact on local residents, health and the environment of Hyndburn and today we have taken action to try to address the concerns which the public have rightly been raising with us.
“We understand and share the public’s frustration. Numerous attempts have been made to address the concerns and prevent these activities which have included visits and enforcement activities but as we have not seen the level of cooperation required and complaints and offences have continued to occur, today’s action has been necessary.
“We will as a partnership continue to work together to tackle such activities and use the powers available to us to prevent crime, anti-social behaviour, nuisance and threats to the environment of Hyndburn and we thank our communities for their patience and continued support.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Today’s operation shows the police taking strong action to prevent a nuisance that has blighted the community in Great Harwood for a long time.
“Many local people and representatives have raised concerns about anti-social behaviour linked to the site and today it has been closed down.
“I hope that this notice will allow all partners to work at ensuring that the site remains trouble free.”
Any information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”