Recent reports of increased drug use in Brighton’s Queens Park have been confirmed as schools in the local area make a statement to parents in an attempt to reduce the risk children face by tackling the issue both inside school and at home.
Parents have been urged to raise the issue with their children and to warn them of the dangers of picking up drug litter, used needles, and soiled tissues.
It has been reported that the park is being used to for the sale and exchange of heroin and has subsequently become a spot in which drug users are taking their drugs.
This activity is leaving areas of the park scattered with drug paraphernalia and the kinds of litter associated with this kind of drug use.
One mother told us that, while walking through the park with her children on the way home from school, she found two needles lying on the edge of a flower bed that posed a danger to children veering off of the pathway.
An upturned needle and an excited child is a terrifying image, and with the known dangers of used drug needles posing a huge risk to adults, our city’s children are left particularly vulnerable to this kind of irresponsible behaviour.
One school, local to the park, has released a statement to parents warning them of the increased risk of using the park as a route to and from the school, and has made their plans to educate pupils at the school of the dangers clear.
“We are very sad to tell everyone that it has come to our notice that there is a high level of drug use in Queens Park at present. In particular it seems that Queens Park has become targeted for the selling and use of heroin. Over the next few weeks we will be teaching our children in Year 5 and 6 about the dangers of touching and picking up drug litter, that is syringes, needles and tissues.”
“We have been told that if we as a community want the situation in the park to change, it is vital that everybody report any incidents that we see. It is only by doing this that services will be allocated to our area. If you see heroin dealing or injecting, you can ring 999. If underage young people seem to be involved, the police operation to tackle this is called Operation Rattle. 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. ”
It is speculated that recent changes to the ways in which this problem was policed at The Level, a previously notorious spot for the use of heroin, has only shifted the problem elsewhere and multiplied the number of spaces which face this kind of problem.
We have recently published an article that looked at the prospects of a pilot scheme which aimed at reducing both the external dangers of drug use, such as the ones faced at Queens Park, and also the internal dangers posed to the individual. It is proposed that this would be done by providing users with a safe space to take their drugs away from the Brighton locals and playing children found in public parks.
If you don’t want to call you can e-mail Sussex Police at https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/reportonline/ You will get a response.If you don’t want to call the Police you can e mail Safe in The City at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Pavilions on 01273 731900 or email email@example.com
You can also e-mail all of the local councillors. If you find any used needles, do not touch them. Call CityClean on 01273 292929 or 01273 292229 out of hours. They should respond within an hour.