Police visit Stevenage tower block after Comet flags drugs concerns
PUBLISHED: 14:34 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:11 06 October 2017
Police in Stevenage have visited every flat in one of Stevenage's tower blocks to hear residents' concerns about drugs and anti-social behavior.
Seventeen officers and PCSOs from the Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood Team called at Brent Court in Silam Road on Wednesday, visiting all the flats across its 17 floors.
It follows an investigation by the Comet last month in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, when people living in the high-rise block told us they were more concerned about drugs than fire risks.
Herts police said more than 40 per cent of people currently living in Brent Court were spoken to on Wednesday – and the team have pledged to return in an evening soon to revisit those residents who were out.
Neighbourhood Sgt Duncan Hall said: “We know there are lots of very worried residents in this block, whose lives are being affected by anti-social behaviour and potential drug crime.
“Although we have been actively encouraging people to contact us with information about ASB in this area, we understand that many residents, for numerous reasons, do not always do this.
“By visiting all of the people who currently live in the flats we have given them a chance to meet their local officers and raise any concerns they may have.”
He added: “This has been an extremely useful event, allowing us to get to know the residents and gain a better understanding of the issues they are currently experiencing.
“We will be using all of the information we have received today to continue to tackle ASB and drug related crime in this area.”
Many of the residents have also signed up to the police service OWL – online watch link – which enables us to easily share information with the police.
When the Comet visited, numerous people reported seeing people coming in and out of the building to do drug deals, and being able to smell drugs in the air.
An elderly couple reported coming out of their front door to be confronted with a drug user who had collapsed with a needle sticking out of his arm.
They said young children and the elderly are having to live right next door to obvious drug users and endure unpleasant smells and sounds coming from their flats, and that they feel intimidated by dealers and users hanging around in the car parks outside at night.
If you were unable to see an officer during the visit but would like to speak to a member of the Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood team, contact Sgt Duncan Hall on 101.