A DRUG den in Basingstoke has been closed as part of Hampshire Constabulary’s ongoing campaign against ‘county lines’ drug dealing.

Officers from Basingstoke’s neighbourhood policing team obtained a partial closure order on a two-bedroom flat in Paddock Road, South Ham.

An application for the order came after a warrant was carried out at the address on February 25, with a number of arrests made relating to drug issues during the raid.

Presiding magistrates granted the order on Wednesday at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court.

The order states only the named tenant, officers and staff from Sovereign Housing Association can enter the property.

During the hearing, PC Chris Brindley outlined that the property had become a known location for drugs activity.

He told the court: “Over the last few months, officers have become more and more involved with the property.

“We are applying for this order to partially close a property that is known to be heavily involved in what we know as 'county lines' drug dealing.”

The court heard how the leased tenant of the property had become a victim of ‘cuckooing’, the act where dealers take advantage of a vulnerable person’s home for personal gain and had therefore lost control of the property.

After the hearing, Sergeant Carl Holmes from the Basingstoke neighbourhood policing team said: “The purpose of these orders is not only to help local residents affected by anti-social behaviour but also to offer support to those tenants whose addresses have been targeted, often due to their vulnerabilities.”

The police had worked in partnership with Sovereign Housing, which owns the property, to place the closure notice on the flat and to make sure it is secure.

Rebecca Lemon, anti-social behaviour officer at Sovereign, said: “Working closely with the police on this case a partial closure order is the best solution.”