In the Media

Policeman who ran zero-tolerance crime crackdown has house closed down after 'parties, drug taking and violence'

PUBLISHED August 20, 2012

A senior policeman who ran a "zero tolerance" crime crackdown on nightmare tenants is the owner of a house which has become a blackspot for anti-social behaviour.

Insp Mohammed Razaq, 52, was put in charge of dealing with anti social behaviour on his beat after complaints about neighbours from hell, feral youths, illegal street drinking and vandalism.

But whilst working with housing chiefs to evict yobs on a council estate in Bolton, Greater Manchester, a ten bedroomed house the officer owned five miles away became a blackspot for late night parties, drug taking and violence.

Neighbours compiled a dossier of 49 incidents at the imposing Victorian townhouse describing how drunken tenants had thrown bricks at them in the street and jumped up and down on cars.

Now the anti social behaviour order laws Insp Razaq often used to deal with thuggery on his beat has now been used to close down his own house in Higher Broughton, near Salford. All the tenants have moved out and the windows are boarded-up.

Today, one neighbour said: "Closing down that house will give us our first good nights sleep for several years.

"He may have been been the public face of policing anti social behaviour on his beat but it is an absolute disgrace that he can't keep his own house in order - literally."

Insp Razaq - one of Britain's longest serving Asian officers - and known as "Mo" has more than 33 years policing experience, including spells in CID, Tactical Aid, a firearms unit and various community cohesion projects.

During the 1980s, he helped to police the Toxteth riots, and was part of the team which escorted the Moors Murderer Myra Hindley back to the Saddleworth moors to identify the location of victims' bodies.

He was eventually put in charge of policing the Johnson Fold estate in Bolton where he introduced extra high visibility police patrols and more CCTV surveillance. Groups of youths were regularly stopped and asked to account for what they were doing.

But a court heard Razaq had problems of his own at the property which he owned and where his son Usman holds the landlord licence.

Manchester magistrates heard of 49 separate incidents involving tenants of the house between July last year and June this year.

They included booming music, foul language, fights and repeated thefts from neighbours' houses and the local shop. A dog at the house mauled a passer-by.

Salford City Council applied and won a three month closure order on the house after their legal application was supported by Razaq's colleagues at Greater Manchester Police.

They said the property had a "high turnover" of tenants and issues dated back to 2009.

Councillor David Lancaster, Deputy City Mayor of Salford said: "A troublemaking group of residents like this can terrorise a local community.

"In this particular case local residents were left feeling threatened and unsafe in their own community, which is absolutely unacceptable."

The case is the first time an ASBO has been served on a property in Greater Manchester rather than an individual.

Insp Razaq said he had been the victim of a 'witch hunt' on the evidence of just one witness. He said he and his son had fully complied with everything council officers had asked of them.

Insp Razaq is currently suspended on full pay from his post after being arrested in may 2011 on suspicion of unrelated allegations of corruption and fraud.

He was cleared of any wrongdoing on duty but was charged with six offences of fraud and three offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act relating to insurance and mortgage fraud.

It is alleged he exaggerated insurance claims following flood damage at his house and secured a mortgage at a lower rate by failing to disclose that he was buying to let.

He will "strenuously" deny all charges and is awaiting trial.