16th Sep, 2019

Call for 'Charford community to come together to eradicate estate's rife drug problem'

Tristan Harris 11th Jul, 2019 Updated: 12th Jul, 2019

A CHARFORD resident has called on the local community to come together to eradicate drug-dealing and taking she says is rife on the estate.

The woman, who lives on Bishops Hall Crescent, found three used hypodermic needles, foil, a blood-stained box and pieces of a crack pipe by her child’s trampoline in her back garden.

“There have been endless problems, it’s clear drug-taking is commonplace.

“My garden backs onto others so the items must’ve come from there.

“These issues have been going on for far too long and something needs to be done.

”The council came safely disposed of the drug paraphernalia but she said her son, who had anxiety and special educational needs, was too scared to go in the garden and did not feel safe in his own home.

“My daughter was on the trampoline with her trainers and rubber gloves on – it shouldn’t be like this.”

She said residents, the police, council, Bromgrove District Housing Trust (BDHT) and private landlords needed to work together to evict the people bringing the area down.

Coun Michael Thompson backed her calls and has organised a meeting for 7pm on August 1 at St Andrew’s Church, Lyttleton Avenue, where people will be able to voice their concerns to representatives from the police.

“The vast majority of people in Charford are great – it is a few rotten apples and we shouldn’t let them spoil an excellent community.

“It does need us all to come together in a real productive way and take ownership of the estate.”

He said he it had got to the stage where he felt there would be no shortage of people coming forward to give evidence to the police about those involved in drug activity.

PC Matt Pedrick, the local Safer Neighbourhood Officer for Charford, welcomed the public meeting and said: “Court proceedings are already under way involving some residents living in Charford, relating to drug activity.

“We can get results if we have the evidence but we do need more people to come forward.

“They can remain anonymous but we do need specific information.

“We work hand-in-hand with bdht and do joint visits to properties when issues arise.”

Graeme Anderson, BDHT’s director of housing and communities, said: “Drugs are a concern to communities across the country, and Bromsgrove is no exception.

“We recognise we have an issue to tackle, but we are also aware of the stigmatisation of social housing customers, and the overwhelming majority of our tenants have no experience of drugs and the surrounding issues.”

He added the trust was committed to continue to work with the police and community stakeholders to address the issue.

Anyone with any information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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