POLICE have closed down a house in Warrington after learning it was being used as a brothel.
Officers from the Warrington Hidden Harm team secured a closure order for the property in Forshaw Street, Orford on Wednesday.
They applied for the order, which was granted by Warrington Magistrates’ Court, after gathering a catalogue of evidence in relation to numerous issues connected to the property.
Not only was the house being used for sex work by the two women living there – with customers visiting both day and night – there were environmental issues regarding a large amount of rubbish that had been left in the garden.
Neighbours had complained about the amount of noise, visitors and rubbish at the house.
The two tenants, who had been living at the privately rented house since August, have now been removed from the address.
The house has been boarded up for a period of up to three months.
Anyone who enters the property during that time is committing an offence and can be arrested and prosecuted.
Detective Constable Stephen Deehan, of the Warrington Hidden Harm Team, said: “We visited the house after receiving intelligence that the house was being used as a brothel.
“After establishing that the two women living there were not being exploited or coerced into sex work, we gathered evidence of unacceptable levels of anti-social behaviour, disorder, noise and rubbish at the property.
“This was having a significant detrimental impact on the quality of life of local residents.
“Information supplied by neighbours played a key role in the evidence we gathered that has enabled us to secure a closure order for the house.
“We want people to be able to live in their homes without having to suffer from the effects of unacceptable issues at neighbouring properties.
“The closure order is another example of our commitment to targeting those who undermine our communities and bring misery to others.
“I hope that this case encourages others to report and give statements regarding anti-social behaviour or criminal activity at properties they live near.
“As this case shows, we will do something about it.
“At Cheshire Constabulary we are committed to tackling those who engage in anti-social or criminal activity at their own home. Those who do so risk losing the property.”
Officers will conduct regular checks at the house over the next three months to ensure that the closure order is not breached.
If anyone is found to have breached the order they are liable to be arrested and face up to six months in prison, a £5,000 fine or both. No arrests have been made in connection with the house closure.
Anyone who is concerned about anti-social behaviour or criminal activity in their community is urged to call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or provide the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report.
Alternatively residents can report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.