Councillor ‘hopeful’ in push for new substance misuse strategy
- Credit: Jane Keane
A councillor is pushing to prioritise tackling drug and alcohol misuse in Havering after discovering needles littered near Romford town centre.
Cllr Jane Keane, Labour councillor for St Alban’s, said she was made aware of a “drug den” after being notified by a local resident.
Cllr Keane described herself as “completely unprepared” for the discovery of such a scene, which also included alcohol swabs and a range of other paraphernalia.
“By that point I was feeling like I was somewhere I really shouldn’t be," she added.
The finding prompted her to contact the police, the council's director of neighbourhoods and the director of public health, raising the need to develop a new substance misuse policy as a priority.
In response, Cllr Keane received an email saying a new partnership group has been established and it will draft a new strategy to go before the health and wellbeing board and community safety partnership.
But she said: “I want to see it on the table. Call me impatient. I know that these things have got to be thoroughly worked out.”
- 1 Romford pair to 'bring a little bit of raving' to 'more mature' Hornchurch community
- 2 Watch: Brawl erupts on Heath Park street outside pub
- 3 Man, 52, found with head injuries in Hornchurch
- 4 Unvaccinated patients may need to take Covid tests for hospital appointments as cases rise
- 5 Teen taken to hospital as 'priority' after being stabbed in Rainham
- 6 'Absolutely disgusting': 'Design defect' blamed for Harold Wood fountain repeatedly breaking
- 7 Romford theatre company celebrates 60 years with Shakespeare park performance
- 8 Application to open Papa John's takeaway in Hornchurch
- 9 Bid to turn Harold Wood motor shop into three-bedroom home refused by council
Mark Ansell, the council’s director of public health, said: “The new Havering Substance Misuse Reduction group is a partnership between the council and other local health and public protection organisations.
“The group met in May to identify and tackle substance misuse and associated problems in the borough, with the goal of creating a new strategy that will help agencies across Havering to work together to improve support and treatment for those affected by addiction, and to reduce crime associated with substance abuse.”
An East Area BCU spokesperson said: “Havering police are committed to tackling alcohol and drugs misuse in all its forms.
“The busy vibrant town centres are attractive locations due to the many licensed venues whom we work in partnership with to ensure the safety of all inside."
The spokesperson added that the force's safer neighbourhood teams and drug focus desk work to identify places where substances are stored and that the force is “committed to reducing violence on our streets”.
Cllr Keane said she is “hopeful” that a new strategy will be prioritised.
“The costs of not prioritising everything that should be contained in it are more lost young lives, more children in poverty, communities plagued by crime and a huge financial burden on healthcare and social services.”