A piece of open land opposite Hemel Hempstead Fire Station has been made subject to a closure order in a bid to stop aggressive beggars.
The area, to the front of 5-7 Alexandra Place, had become an illegal encampment with several people living there and frequenting there.
There were also reports of alcohol and drug abuse at the location, aggressive begging and loud and abusive altercations which were affecting local residents and businesses.
This is the first time the council have brought such an order on an area of open land.
The closure runs for three months, but can be extended for a further three months if necessary.
Any person commits an offence if they remain or enter these premises and can be arrested. If found guilty they are liable to imprisonment and/or a fine.
Cllr Neil Harden, council portfolio holder for community and regulatory services said: “The fact that this is our first ever closure order on a piece of open land demonstrates how severe a case this was.
“The council does not and will not tolerate anti-social behaviour and will not hesitate to take appropriate swift and effective action when it is brought to our attention.”