Dorset Gardens are delighted to meet the neighbours, Elements Martial Arts, and welcome them to the area. Link is on sidebar.
Myself and David Spafford, went to the meeting about Hereford House being turned into a halfway house for those with mental heath issues, and drug dependence problems. It was very lively! The outcome being, the council worker in charge of rehab facilities, was unaware of the strength of feeling, by residents, that the area is over saturated as it stands. He will go back to the drawing board… I feel he understood the feelings of people/residents, in the room. Time will tell.
Queens Park had a positive reaction had had many people respond. I think we can do the same
QUEEN’S PARK PUBLIC MEETING
DRUG USE IN QUEEN’S PARK
Councillor Karen Barford chaired the meeting, with fellow councillors Dan Chapman and Adrian Morris.
Representatives from city-wide agencies involved in the issue also attended.
Nick Newman works for Pavilion Clinical services, who oversee needle provision and exchange. He stated that all needle packs come with disposal packs.
Lorissa Reed represented the Community Safety team. She took on the responsibility for overseeing the way the various teams are working together to address this issue. E mail Lorissa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Siobhan Bostock is the Community Safety Casework Team caseworker. She works as part of a team of 5 caseworkers who deal with anti-social behaviour issues across the city. Call them on 01273 292735
Scott Crossley is the team leader for the Equinox Drug & Alcohol outreach team who work with addicts to try and help them deal with their issues, and try and reduce harm both to the addicts themselves and to the wider community. They have 3 outreach workers and an ASD support worker who will will be sending daily teams into the park. You’ll recognise them by their ‘Pavilions’ lanyards – say hi!
Paul McCarthy is the Police Inspector covering central Brighton. His teams of PSCOs are now making 2 visits to the park every shift.
We heard from Inspector McCarthy first. Organised gangs are supplying heroin in the area in three ways. They drop off to groups of addicts from cars, especially near the West Drive gate and the bench on West Drive, and on South Drive. They target vulnerable people living alone in the community and use their dwellings – a house in Queens Park Road has just been served a Closure Notice which bans non-residents. They use the County Lines system to get young people, often underage children, to act as carriers to deliver heroin to drop-off points in public spaces. All three activities have been seen in the park.
Residents testified to the level of constant dealing and injecting in the park and the amount of used needles found, especially in the children’s Play Park where the toilets are located. Addicts have injected themselves and passed out in broad daylight in the Play Park. Local nurseries have stopped using the park and local schools have had to caution children on trips to the park. A tent was set up in the Quiet Garden and used for dealing and injecting. Local businesses have been affected as parents no longer wish to use the park. Residents of Hampshire Court also spoke up to record constant levels of heroin dealing, heroin injecting and violence.
Due to government cuts. all the agencies listed above have had their services reduced. 50% of PSCOs have been lost. Resources are allocated on the basis of need, as reported by residents.
Inspector McCarthy has set up an Intel unit to collate all information we send in. Police and Drug Outreach resources are increased depending on how many incidents are reported. The more we report what is going on, the more resources will be allocated to deal with the situation.
If you see heroin dealing or injecting, you can ring 999. Even if no teams are available to attend, the call will be logged and will help build up a demand for more resources. You can also call 101 for non-urgent reports. If you don’t want to call you can e-mail Sussex Police at https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/report-online/ You WILL get a response. If you don’t want to call the Police you can e mail Safe in The City at email@example.com or ring Pavilions on 01273 731900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org You can also e-mail all of the local councillors.
If you find any used needles – DON’T TOUCH THEM! Call CityClean on 01273 292929 or 01273 292229 out of hours. They should respond within an hour.
The idea was mooted of an Environmental Audit similar to the one that was done at the Level to reduce heroin-related harm.
DEFRA have a series of recommendations for good practice. You can read them here https://www.gov.uk/…/tackling-drug-related-litter-guidance-…
With budgetary cuts to public services, it is increasingly up to us to maintain our city the way we want it to be. Addicts are also the victims of drug dealing gangs who are exploiting vulnerable men, women and children in order to make money. The fall-out is affecting us all and making our park an unsafe place for our children. If we want to try and stop this, the best and easiest way is to REPORT what we see to any of the agencies above. If we do this, the agencies will allocate their resources to our neighbourhood. If we say nothing, give up or ignore this issue it will only get worse.
I am writing on behalf of First Base to invite you, and members of the St James Community Action Group, to a drop-in consultation event next Wednesday 11th October.
The event is designed to get community and stakeholder input at an early stage, as First Base work up their proposals to redevelop the former American Express office site on Edward Street. Invitations have been sent to local residents, community groups and councilors.
The details of the event are:
Date & Time: Wednesday 11th October, 4-8 pm
Address: Millwood Community Centre – Nelson Row, Kingswood Street BN2 9QG
You can drop in at a time of your convenience, and please get in touch if you have any questions
Many of you know the difficulties of living next door to a Party House, you may even have complained to environmental noise.
Your Councillors want to help. Please contact Councillors Adrian Morris, or Daniel Chapman, or Karen Barford, using the links on the side bar. They’ve already had successes and are keen to have more.
What a great success! Our volunteers came out in force, making short work of giving St James Street a facelift. With the help of Matt Easteal from Brighton and Hove council, we painted scrapped and pulled the rubbish off our street. Well done everyone! Yes we know it’ll creep back. Guess what….. we’ll do it all over again!