BBC South Today recently had a news item regarding how vulnerable people are coerced by drug dealers and users into using their homes drug taking and dealing.
Trisha Bennett our Community Development Coordinator spoke to BBC South Today on how important a coordinated community approach is critical to tackling the issue.
Our work with local partners like the PCSO’s, Communicare and Welfare Rights has been invaluable in identifying key issues of this nature in the community.
Our daily deliveries and the involvement of the PCSOs with this activity has been a vital aspect of further building trust in the community, not only for us but for the PCSOs too. We are building bonds – this is not something that happens overnight, it takes time, patience and a lot of listening.
This trust is essential in making sure that we are able to respond to core issues. It is also vital in ensuring that we and our partners have a real-time sense of what is happening in our community. Previously we have seen “solutions” parachuted in and although they mean well they often lack two key ingredients;
– the trust of the community
– specific knowledge of the community
As a result of our work we have become far more aware of what’s happening on the ground, people’s vulnerabilities and the problems they face. We have found that it is often the case that some people will assume everyone is getting the support they need. Or will fall into the trap of victim-blaming and neglect people who need support. By working in the community we can ensure the right support is sought for.
This is why we see our partnership with the community and our partners as an important part of the work we do. If you’d like to find out more click here.
Regarding the problem of illegal drugs and the exploitation of young and vulnerable people:
County Lines is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries (although not exclusively), usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs. The ‘County Line’ is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs. Importing areas (areas where the drugs are taken to) are reporting increased levels of violence and weapons-related crimes as a result of this trend.
You can read more here