Survey launched to identify issues around drug harm

A community forum was held last week, allowing residents to come forward with their experiences of drug harm in the city. 

The forum coincided with the launch of a short survey to get residents' views which will help to identify the main issues around drug harm.

The citywide event, organised by the Safer Communities team, focused on harm brought to communities by drugs while also looking to ensure the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. 

Those who attended the forum included senior staff from the council, Sussex Police, residents, councillors and other partner groups. 

Attendees met to listen and discuss how multi-agency approaches can be improved to address the growing trend in drugs and county lines, as well as antisocial behaviour (ASB), which is often interlinked.

'Agreeing on an easier joined-up approach'

Councillor Steph Powell said at the event, "We have listened to first-hand, powerful accounts from residents today of their experiences regarding how drug dealing and ASB in their neighbourhood blights their lives and communities - often for many months at a time. 

"The stress on residents of having to repeat their stories to multiple agencies on the matter on a long-term basis whilst a case is being put together is a strain in itself. 

"Poor communication between partner groups" was repeated time and again today, the result of which may deter people from reporting in the first place. 

"Today is the first meeting of its kind. We must agree on an easier joined-up approach between agencies so that residents' faith in the council and the police is improved and that, ultimately, the outcome sees a reduction in harm in our communities."

Increasing trust and confidence in reporting drug harm

The Brighton & Hove Community Safety Partnership want to increase people's trust and confidence in reporting drug harm in communities and neighbourhoods. 

As part of the consultation, they want to hear from residents about their experience of reporting drug-related antisocial behaviour and crime. The team are also encouraging people who run businesses in the city to complete the survey.

The survey will also help the team to identify issues, focus resources and inform the team's future work to help reduce drug harm in the city. The survey will then be repeated at a later date to measure the council's progress in the area.

The short survey can be found here and the closing date for responses is Sunday 5 March: Citywide drug related harm survey (