Council promise crackdown on cannabis

More than 40 tenants across the borough have been found growing or dealing cannabis from the council properties.

Rotherham Council is now stepping up its action in relation to the cultivation, production and distribution of the drug, with the help of South Yorkshire Police.

The authority is warning people that they risk losing their homes if they are found growing cannabis.

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The council said that since 2010 more than 40 tenants across the borough have been served with Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions and Notices of Seeking Possession - the first step towards eviction proceedings - after they were found to be growing or distributing cannabis from their properties.

They are warning tenants are being warned they face re-possession proceedings and the potential loss of their homes.

In addition, if there is a breach of the Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction, they could face contempt of court proceedings and could be fined and/or sent to prison for up to two years.

In cases where there has been a substantial amount of cannabis discovered, the authority has applied for possession of the properties, which has resulted in some tenants been evicted.

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Steve Parry, neighbourhood crime and justice manager for Rotherham Council, said both the council and South Yorkshire Police are committed to dealing with any tenants who breach their tenancy agreements through the use of controlled drugs.

He added: “Unfortunately, the cultivation of cannabis seems to be on the increase but we warn anyone thinking about growing it - either in council properties or private - that we will take the necessary legal action to stop it.”

“If tenants ignore this warning they will find themselves paying significant court costs, facing jail and losing their homes.”

Paul Walsh, the council’s housing and communities manager, said the action formed part of a more intensive programme of tenancy enforcement activity to be initiated across the borough in the weeks and months ahead.

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“The council will continue to work with South Yorkshire Police and our partner agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime within our neighbourhoods,” he said.

People should feel safe where they live and we will be working hard to achieve that. The vast majority of our tenants are law abiding citizens and abide by their tenancy obligations. Increasingly, action will be taken against those who are not.”

The council and South Yorkshire Police have also issued more than 40 Acceptable Behaviour Contracts in relation to substance misuse and at this stage are advising individuals to seek help from supporting agencies.