Two local venues allegedly involved in drug-dealing and other illicit activities have been closed down following the issuance of closure orders by magistrates.
Northumbria Police, after conducting thorough investigations, executed warrants at Birtley Boxing Club, located on Beaconsfield Terrace, and Birtley Gym and Fitness Centre, situated on Durham Road, on September 20.
Searches carried out at the boxing club unveiled a stash of drugs and weapons, while officers at Birtley Gym and Fitness Centre discovered significant quantities of narcotics and thousands of pounds in cash.
Authorities revealed that the Gateshead’s Neighbourhood Policing Team had received multiple reports of various incidents linked to both establishments, including suspected drug-dealing, violent altercations, and property damage.
During a hearing at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, October 12, these venues were ordered to remain closed for the ensuing three months.
Individuals found in violation of these orders could face arrest and potential imprisonment.
A spokesperson from Northumbria Police stated, “We are pleased that closure orders have now been granted against these two venues. We will continue to closely monitor the area, and should anyone breach the orders by re-opening either of the venues, they will face criminal repercussions and potential time behind bars. Our hope is that these orders act as a deterrent to others because when we do receive reports linked to suspected criminality, we will take action. By working with the community and partners, we can continue to ensure this area remains a safe and pleasant place to live and work.”
They further added, “Under the banner of Operation Sentinel, we are committed to tackling suspected serious and organized crime to protect our communities. We would encourage anyone with information about such activity to come forward and contact us.”
Councillor Angela Douglas, Chair of the Gateshead Community Safety Board, emphasized, “Activity of this nature has no place in Gateshead, and I would urge anyone with information about suspected criminal activity to report what they know. We will continue to work with Northumbria Police to act on reports of this nature and tackle any threats to the safety of our communities.”